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‘UTTER NONSENSE’: Radlett residents critical of social distancing changes on high street

 Published on: 20th July 2020   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

Residents and the Radlett Branch Labour Party have criticised the social distancing changes made on Watling Street by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC).

Most of the parking spaces throughout Watling Street have been closed off to allow more room for pedestrians to walk while socially distanced, but many residents feel the changes were unnecessary and are only creating problems on the high street.

Radlett resident John Tilsiter said: “It’s complete and utter nonsense.  A sheer waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

“So, the parking is now reduced and one has only to walk past on the other side of Watling Street to see the lack of shoppers. In the meantime, Borehamwood Tesco’s car park and the Boulevard are buzzing.  

“Radlett residents were already sensibly ‘social distancing’ before anything was done. The existing parking was fine and working well.”

John Maizels, chair of Radlett Branch Labour Party, said: “It is the opinion of our members that these restrictions are completely unnecessary and act in a discriminatory way towards elderly and disabled residents as well as unfairly cutting off some shops from access.

“Radlett does not have crowded pavements and there is plenty of room for pedestrians to avoid getting close to one another to minimise risks of COVID infection. We feel the whole scheme has been carried out without any consultation and is a waste of money and resources. 

“The further plans for parallel parking would only make the situation worse and cause endless congestion as people struggle to fit in to parking spaces. 

“Our members feel it would be much better to have notices telling people to wear masks.”

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “Following feedback and with the continued easing of lockdown our Highways Teams have been adapting the measures installed in Radlett to reinstate areas of on street parking including both disabled parking and the provision of loading bays to support the economic recovery of the high street whilst maintaining space for social distancing. 

“As part of the design process any changes are reviewed and assessed by an internal team of officers including road safety input.

“We are working closely with district, borough and Public Health colleagues as how best we communicate and reinforce public health guidance via on street signage, helpful advice to businesses and communication campaigns.”

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