Pink Pages     MyLocalHero 2022     Advertise with us     


WOODMERE AVENUE: Residents demand change to Watford’s controversial width restriction

 Published on: 23rd October 2021   |   By: Lizzie Ellis   |   Category: Uncategorized

A controversial width restriction on Woodmere Avenue in Watford has hit national headlines for the number of vehicles getting caught and damaged whilst driving through.

The otherwise quiet residential road has become chaos, with many demanding changes to the restriction which has damaged vehicles of all sizes, including a Hertfordshire Police van.

The restriction was first implemented in the 1980s to stop large lorries coming through, however, in recent years, residents say the restriction has done more damage than good and want it scrapped.

A Facebook page called ‘Woodmere Avenue width restriction’ was set up by road resident Tim Vigor in September to record pictures and videos of the incidents. So far, more than 20 accidents have been caught on camera and more than 3,700 people have joined the group.

Tim Vigor, who lives in direct view of the crash hotspot, told WatfordNews: “The width restriction has caused major problems, the whole thing is set up for you to fail. I do shift work as a driver, so I go to bed at 3pm and am always being woken up by multiple crashes and loud bumps.

“All the neighbors are fed up with it, every single day you could go out there and there would be some debris to clear up. It catches multiple vehicles every day, there is a dropped curb right in front of the restriction, so you don’t know if you’re on the pavement or the road.”

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “I know this is a source of frustration for many people, with regular accidents occurring at the site. Hertfordshire County Council is responsible for roads and I know that for many years the local ward councillors have pressed them to make changes.

“The new Lib Dem County Councillor, Steve Cavinder, has made this issue a priority of his. Let’s all hope that the County Council will finally see the problems this is causing for local residents and change the width restriction to something that actually works.”

On September 21, Councillor Stephen Cavinder and Luke Swan, Highway Locality Officer at Hertfordshire County Council visited the width restriction for a meeting. 

Councillor Steve said: “I believe that there is now a recognition that something needs to be done and those officers who attended have gone away to reflect and consider what options are possible. I am expecting an update from them shortly.”

Dean Russell MP told WatfordNews: “This is something that I have been working on for quite some time now, securing an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons and raising at Ministerial level. 

“It has been an issue in Watford for many years and whilst the road needs measures to stop it becoming a rat-run for large lorries, it is clear from the footage that the existing bollards are a hindrance to many drivers.

“I will continue to campaign for change to find a solution which ensures that drivers can navigate the restriction safely, but also ensures the road remains safe for pedestrians, and will continue to explore possible solutions to the Woodmere Avenue layout for Hertfordshire County Council.”

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “The width restrictions on Woodmere Road are there to discourage drivers from using this residential road as a through route, while allowing buses to use the road as normal.

“We have reviewed and improved the white lines and signage around the restriction to make sure drivers are well aware of the upcoming width restriction. 

“There are also two other routes into Woodmere Avenue, for vehicles which are too wide or for drivers who choose not to go through the width restriction.

“The location does not meet the criteria for inclusion in our safety engineering programme, and drivers do have to take responsibility for knowing the width of their vehicle and navigating the restriction at a safe speed. Officers continue to liaise with stakeholders to consider options and the reported issues at this location.”

Sign up to get weekly local news updates & offers:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Leave a comment



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.