Local county and borough councillor, Liberal Democrat Robin Parker, has hit out at the lack of progress on three important highways jobs in his county division of Chells, Stevenage, and queried some of the more general poor performance recently reported on highways issues.
1. New zebra crossing near Nobel School, Mobbsbury Way.
Following two collisions in 2009 between pupils at Nobel School and fast moving vehicles on Mobbsbury Way, it was agreed that Cllr Parker would use some of use County Council locality budget and following a safety audit, this was scheduled for autumn 2012. However, following huge unnecessary delays the County Council still have not addressed these problems and the introduction of the much needed zebra crossing has been stalled.
A new school year has now started, with well over a thousand school pupils on Mobbsbury Way, at least twice each day, many of them needing to cross the road. Each further delay to the new crossing puts more of them at risk. None of the contractors or others involved seem to be serious about getting this job done.
2. Widening of Mobbsbury Way at the junction with Fairlands Way.
Cllr Robin Parker says “I have been campaigning to get improvements to this junction since 1990, but HCC have always flatly refused to take action to build a roundabout or make other improvements. The main danger is for traffic wishing to turn right out of Mobbsbury Way into Fairlands Way.
However, when planning permission was given for the Nobel School redevelopment, a condition of it was that improvements be made to the junction, because of the extra traffic that will be generated on Mobbsbury Way as Nobel School grows. Eventually, all that the building contractor would commit to was to widen the left side of Mobbsbury Way, at the junction, to enable two lanes of cars to queue there.This is, of course, still unsatisfactory, but it is all that HCC and the contractors were prepared to negotiate, so we had to accept it for the time being.
However, although the works were supposed to be finished prior to the occupation by the school of the new buildings, which was in April 2012, absolutely no works have been done up to now, 18 months later. HCC are blaming Mace, the project managers for the Nobel rebuilding project, but Mace have also failed to respond to me with a definite time scale for the works.
3. Repair of mini roundabout at the junction of Fairlands Way/Chells Way.
Cllr Robin Parker says “This mini roundabout has been in a disgraceful state for many years and HCC did put it on a list of jobs to be done by the previous Hertfordshire Highways contractors (Amey Lefarge). This contract finished about a year ago, but the contractor has just walked away and left this and several other jobs unfinished and has apparently no intention of returning to finish them.
HCC should have finished them by now and raised the charge against the previous contractor. Originally, the job was to have been completed 3 years ago. The roundabout is broken and all markings have gone. It is a road safety hazard. This is chased up every week or two as well, but no-one at HCC can tell me when something will actually be done about it.