Recent campaigners for safety improvements to protect pedestrians outside Thomas Alleyne School were reported in your columns and, whilst I support them, I think they will find it hard to get action on this by the highways authority responsible which is Hertfordshire County Council (HCC).
Over a year ago, following the incident in which an ambulance overturned there, I took up this issue at great length with HCC and the school, but I met with a clear refusal by HCC for action.
HCC’s main arguments were:
1. There is no personal injury accident record there and their limited road safety works funds should be spent where there is a proven history of personal injury.
2. Highways regulations prevented a sturdy crash barrier, of the type that I wanted, being placed at that location.
3. Funds should be sought from the local Old Town county councillor (who is not me) because they could use either their Highways Locality Budget (HLB) or Locality Budget (LB) for a safety audit there and possible suggestions for improvements.
It is true that sometimes highways regulations get in the way of what seems a common sense solution to a highways problem, and that priority should be given to places where personal injury accidents have actually occurred. However, there are any number of sites which are “accidents waiting to happen” and, if HCC increased the budget for road safety and measures to minimise risks – possibly instead of spending council taxpayers’ money on pointless and largely unused message signs – then many residents, including myself, would feel happier.
Liberal Democrat county councillor for Chells Division on HCC and borough councillor for Manor Ward on SBC