County & Borough Councillor Robin Parker

County & Borough Councillor Robin Parker

The Highways Department of Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) have failed to act over some missing/incorrect speed restriction signs and some wrong direction signs (one of them hanging loose) in Chells – despite a list of them having been provided to HCC by local Liberal Democrat county and borough councillor, Robin Parker.

“Some of these signs are important for road users, especially those who may not know the roads in the town very well” said Robin Parker. The missing speed restriction signs are a particular concern. Recently, I sent a detailed list of these errors and omissions to HCC but their response is the stock one that I have received many times:

…..the issue is not considered to be an immediate hazard. There are a few issues with the signage in the area and will be designed into a larger works package.  These works will be included for consideration in our planned repairs in the future.

In fact, I have been reporting some of these signage problems repeatedly for many years and they simply do not get sorted out. It seems that, predictably, ‘in the future’ never comes!”

“The missing speed restriction signs were pointed out to me by an eagle eyed local resident – and I thank her for that – but the rest I have seen myself over a long period of time.”

The list provided by Robin to HCC is as follows:

“Missing speed restriction signs

  1. No 30 mph/40 mph signs at the junction of Fairlands Way/.Chells Way, where the speed limit changes from 30 to 40 mph, or from 40 to 30 mph, depending on the direction of travel. (However, after I made a fuss, note that on Friday 3.10.2014, out of the 4 needed, one tatty, faded and old 30 mph sign, did appear at this junction, but only for traffic in one direction and on one side of the road only and it is smaller than the usual sign size. The other 3 are still missing.)
  2. There is a lack of 40 mph repeater signs along Fairlands Way.
  3. There is an unnecessary 20 mph sign on Chells Way, near its junction with Warwick Road, going downhill, after the traffic calming near Camps Hill School. It is on the central beacon island in the middle of Chells Way. When I first reported it years ago to HCC Highways, they agreed that it was unnecessary to have it after the traffic calming and there is already one in the right place before the traffic calming – but despite many reminders from me, it is still there.

Wrong/damaged direction signs

  1. Sign for Marriotts School, on Chells Way, pointing up Brunel Road.
  2. Sign for Marriotts School, on Chells Way, pointing up Newton Road.
  3. Contractor’s sign for Marriotts School, pointing up Newton Road.

Note that (5) above is damaged and hanging loose.

Also note that the correct vehicle route to Marriotts School, is now via Six Hills Way and Brittain Way, since the new school opened 2 years ago.

Missing Vehicle Message Sign (VMS)

  1. The VMS on Fairlands Way, officially referred to as V197, near its junction with Derby Way, was damaged in a collision about a year ago. Its electric circuits were left open to the elements until I reported this, when HCC removed the VMS altogether. It is still missing and there have been two empty poles standing in the verge, where the sign used to be, for many months now. HCC tell me that their plan is to turn it the other way round, so it provides information for traffic leaving Stevenage, about surrounding areas and routes out of Stevenage. The cost of this one VMS was about £20,000 and I said at the time that most of the 13 VMS (costing in total over £200,000) in Stevenage were a waste of taxpayers’ money for traffic within Stevenage. It seems HCC are now admitting this fact.”

HCC most recent response to Robin Parker’s questions, dated 2.10.2014, on this VMS (and another one on Broadhall Way) is:

Cllr Parker,

The two signs affected are:

  • V199 – A602 Broadhall Way (nr Broadwater Crescent)
  • V197 – B1037 Fairlands Way (nr Derby Way)

Sign V199:

The new location for this sign has now been decided.

The works will involve getting power from an existing near-by lamp column.

However the lamp column requires modification.

For your information lamp columns along this stretch are been upgraded to LED in December.

Therefore to avoid unnecessary costs we propose to have this sign installed in Jan 2015 following the LED replacements.


Sign V197:

I can confirm that it is still the intention to re-position this sign at a similar location.

We are currently looking at the exact site at which to place this, as we must ensure it is both safe and effective to motorists, but also has minimal impact on the surrounding area.

Once we have a definite location we will be able to provide a definitive date for installation.


We will of course keep you updated as things progress.


If you have any further queries please let me know