Gateway to the South

It is a case of deja vu – waiting for the next boot to fall or in Hertford’s case, waiting for the gates to open.

The Road Traffic Order

This Road Traffic Order has been affixed to the notice board at the southern end of Bull Plain for a number of weeks.

What it says is that gates will be installed at either end of Maidenhead Street and only open before 9.30am and 5.30pm to allow free movement of pedestrians. So far no gates have materialised.

The notice goes on to say that the RTO will come into force on 13th May and that traffic will only be able to access Maidenhead Street from Salisbury Square .

To underline the reversal of traffic flow there are two ‘No Entry’ signs at the western end of Maidenhead Street. However if you are driving from Mill Bridge they are not highly visible. I would have thought that extra signage before Maidenhead Street saying ‘no left turn’ would be appropriate along with a similar sign ‘no right turn’ from Parliament Square.

Last Tuesday (21 May) travelling on the 390 bus to Stevenage we were delayed by a forty foot pantechnicon travelling through Fore Street from Parliament Square. The lorry then turned left along Maidenhead Street despite the large warning sign in place to prevent such access. When we finally made Mill Bridge ourselves that lorry was blocking Maidenhead Street.

So what you might say. But it was 11.15am and traffic is apparently banned from Maidenhead Street after 9.30am.

That was bad enough but on our return at 2.30pm a delivery van turned into Maidenhead Street from the wrong end.

So, where are the gates that are meant to prevent this.

What I have yet to discover is exactly who is responsible  for opening and closing these gates? And then ensuring that no-one or vehicle is locked inside. Answers on a postcard please.

Today there were two vehicles parked close to Honey Lane at 1.00pm.

I have no words left to say on the state of Bircherley Green. Why was the application not heard last night (22 May) by the Development Management Committee. Another three weeks at least (next scheduled meeting 19 June) will elapse and in the meantime time will stand still and nothing will happen in Hertford.

I could not blame Diageo, Wrenbridge, Premier Inns or Whitbread if they all walked away and left Hertford to its own devices. They won’t; but would East Herts Council really care if they did?

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By John Barber

John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. He had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder, a hitherto unsolved murder case from 1907.