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Road Safety (Hertfordshire)

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

It is a great pleasure to present to the House a petition on behalf of my constituents in Nash Mills parish, as well as the constituents of St. Albans, into where Lower Road bridge runs from my constituency. The petition is signed by 550 residents. That does not sound a particularly large number, but they represent nearly all the families who are having their lives blighted by the dangers of Lower Road bridge in Nash Mills. The Victorian bridge and tunnel has no footpath and was designed for the horse and carriage, not the 40-tonne lorries, buses, cars and motorcycles that go through the tunnel today. Some 2,217 movements were recorded in three hours through this tunnel, with no public footpath whatsoever.

The petition states:

The Petition of those concerned about the safety of Lower Road bridge in Nash Mills,

Declares that a safety crossing and traffic calming system is urgently needed for the Lower Road bridge in Nash Mills; that the Victorian bridge and tunnel has no footpath or alternative safe route being designed for horse and carriages rather than 40 tonne lorries; that a local traffic survey found that on 24th October 2007 between 2pm and 5pm there were 2,217 movements through the bridge including HGV lorries, buses, vans, cars, motorbikes and pedestrians; that a large proportion of the pedestrians crossing the bridge are children; that 50 children live in the 150 dwellings in what is known as “no mans land” (Lower Road, Hyde Lane and Woodlands Road) and have to cross the bridge to access the local park; that further planned developments nearby (residential and business) are likely to exacerbate the problem on this bridge which has three junctions on its south side; and that if the Government is encouraging children to walk to school it should ensure the environment for them to do so is a safe one.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to instruct the local authority to look into solutions to the problem which should include the introduction of pedestrian lights; reducing the height restriction on the bridge to 11 ft 4 in; adding a footpath and sensor light; painting the inside of the bridge white and lighting it 24 hours a day;—

because during the day pedestrians cannot see inside the bridge at all and are completely blind—

putting a speed camera in the Lower Road on the bend; providing islands to assist pedestrians in crossing the road and to consult further with the local community to ensure everybody’s safety.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.