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SHENLEY HILL: Recent road closure ‘an absolute farce’, says councillor

 Published on: 19th April 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Hertsmere borough councillor has labelled the recent closure of a Radlett road as “an absolute farce”.

Councillor Nik Oakley, cabinet member for planning, infrastructure and transport, explained that Cadent Gas shut down Shenley Hill to carry out emergency repairs but failed to communicate their intentions with Herts Highways or local transport networks.

Bus drivers subsequently found themselves unable to perform their designated routes, with no alternative journeys communicated to them.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “Cadent Gas shut Shenley Hill on March 11 for an urgent repair, which they are allowed to do, and do not need a permit for in advance. However, Cadent should have notified the county council and applied for a permit within two hours of the emergency closure and put up diversion signs, and they did not do this. We have issued a fine to Cadent for this breach, and have raised the issue with their senior management to hopefully prevent similar issues happening in future.”

A spokesperson for Cadent explained: “As part of our ongoing commitment to upgrading the gas network in the area, we were replacing pipes along Shenley Road, Radlett in March this year.

“Whilst carrying out this work, we discovered a gas escape further along the road from where we were working. The project manager contacted Herts Highways Authority straight away (Wednesday, March 6) discussed the options and came to an agreement to extend the length of the works along the road and agreed on the road closure from Monday, March 6.

“It was our understanding, from the discussions we had, that the contact at Herts Highways Authority, was going to contact the relevant bus companies regarding the upcoming road closure. At the request of Herts Highways Authority, we were asked to encompass the traffic management to include Harper Lane, where the Highways Authority already had a road closure in place until March 15.

“Signage was put up in advance of the emergency road closure on March 11. Unfortunately, there was some misunderstanding internally, and the road closure permit was not requested until Monday, March 11 not for March 11. The request was sent to the Highways Authority and agree immediately. We apologise for this mistake.

“We do not think it is correct to say that the Highways Authority knew nothing about this road closure. We had discussed options, kept them fully informed of our intention, accommodated their road closure into our traffic management and kept them fully updated with weekly emails and calls on the progress and completion of the emergency works.

“We appreciate the disruption this road closure would cause; however, the road is narrow at this section of the gas escape and only one footpath, hence a road closure was considered the safest option for road users, pedestrians and our engineers. The traffic management was agreed by Herts Highways authority.”

Photo Credit: Dr Heidi Miller

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