Motorists furious as roadworks gridlock Elstree crossroads

Borehamwood Times: Susan Finch, right, is angry about the management of the roadworks Susan Finch, right, is angry about the management of the roadworks

Drivers are furious at “ridiculous” roadworks that could lead to a major crossroads being completely gridlocked until the end of June.

Motorists are complaining of taking over hour to do a five minute journey as contractors Eurovia dig up the crossroads between Elstree Hill Road, Watford Road and Barnet Lane.

Hertfordshire County Council has commissioned the work to reduce congestion and cut accidents by widening Watford Road, improving traffic signals and road markings, altering pedestrian crossings and resurfacing roads and pavements.

Engineers from BT will cause further disruption on Monday when they begin to relocate and replace man holes, which will not finish until May.

The traffic is currently being controlled by 24 hour four way traffic signals, much to the anger of residents who feel they should be turned off after 5pm when the engineers stop working.

Mark Warwick, who lives in Beethoven Road in Elstree, complained the tailbacks caused by the traffic signals meant a journey from one end of Barnet Lane to the other, which normally takes five minutes in rush hour, took 55 minutes.

He said: “This is crazy, the road works are locking up the whole of Elstree.”

Yesterday there were tailbacks as far as Apex Corner, the Spire Bushey Hospital and the Watford Bypass Roundabout.

People are taking to social media to express their outrage, with Erica Marks tweeting: “Gridlock around Elstree! Chaos for miles around - please sort this as we cannot get to schools or work!”

Scott Lesner tweeted: “Traffic chaos at Elstree Village. It can't be like this for 6 months. 50 mins for 2 miles to Bushey.”

Businesswoman and mother Susan Finch is determined to get as many people as possible to complain to the council to force them to improve the situation.

She said: “I’m not opposed to the roadworks being carried out, but there must be a better way of managing them than this. They need to have people working there 24 hours a day seven days a week and have more teams of engineers, so the work is carried out as quickly as possible.”

Speaking at last night’s borough council meeting, Councillor Morris Bright said the “horrendous” traffic delays were “totally unacceptable”.

He added Hertsmere Borough Council and MP for Hertsmere James Clappison were putting pressure on the county council to “resolve this as a matter of urgency”.

County Councillor Terry Douris, who is responsible for highways, “sincerely apologised” for the disruption caused by the “essential improvement works”.

He said “everything possible” was being done to minimise the disruption by ensuring the temporary signals were manually operated at busy times to ensure the maximum flow of traffic and diverting traffic by the Watford Bypass.

However he said it was not possible for engineers to turn off or remove the lights when the workers were not present.

He added: “The works are being phased to enable the work to take the shortest practical time without closing the junction completely.

“We will continue to monitor the situation on a regular basis and will take whatever action we can in this constrained area to minimise disruption.”

Comments (9)

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12:53pm Thu 23 Jan 14

david.turner says...

I previously made a comment regarding the traffic problem after your story in Monday'e edition.
I previously made a comment regarding the traffic problem after your story in Monday'e edition. david.turner
  • Score: -1

1:57pm Thu 23 Jan 14

lynnwaite says...

Will Borehamwood survive the Elstree roads
I live in Coates Road and it has just taken me an hour to go to Borehamwood station and back (by Car not on foot)
so it looks like its Edgware and Watford to do my shopping for the next six months
Sorry Tesco's Poundland Iceland Nail art and Linen direct etc..
See you in 6 months Maybe
Will Borehamwood survive the Elstree roads I live in Coates Road and it has just taken me an hour to go to Borehamwood station and back (by Car not on foot) so it looks like its Edgware and Watford to do my shopping for the next six months Sorry Tesco's Poundland Iceland Nail art and Linen direct etc.. See you in 6 months Maybe lynnwaite
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Thu 23 Jan 14

JLS of wd6 says...

One of the buses yesterday morning took nearly an hour from the station to Elstree crossroads! For all the people going to work/school its an absolute nightmare. They really can't have this going on til June.
One of the buses yesterday morning took nearly an hour from the station to Elstree crossroads! For all the people going to work/school its an absolute nightmare. They really can't have this going on til June. JLS of wd6
  • Score: 4

6:04pm Thu 23 Jan 14

dannyagent says...

Terry Douris' comment seems like a total fob off. Sorry, sorry, sorry but there is nothing we can do about it and will do our best to minimise disruption. Yet again another time when the voice of the populous are not heard, the traffic is so bad it is clogging up Shenley Road during rush hour, taking over 15 mins to get from one side of the high street to the other. I am just glad I live and work in the Wood but I really feel sorry for anyone that has to travel through it everyday, and totally agree with the frustrations, took my wife over half an hour to get through and that was at 6.30am!!
Terry Douris' comment seems like a total fob off. Sorry, sorry, sorry but there is nothing we can do about it and will do our best to minimise disruption. Yet again another time when the voice of the populous are not heard, the traffic is so bad it is clogging up Shenley Road during rush hour, taking over 15 mins to get from one side of the high street to the other. I am just glad I live and work in the Wood but I really feel sorry for anyone that has to travel through it everyday, and totally agree with the frustrations, took my wife over half an hour to get through and that was at 6.30am!! dannyagent
  • Score: 1

11:35pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Mill-Hill-Boy says...

The council should take responsibility and get the contractors working till 10pm 7 days a week to sort this mess out. It shouldn't take 6 months Tom wide.n some lanes and move some cables. There has to be a better way. Has no one quantified the economic impact?
The council should take responsibility and get the contractors working till 10pm 7 days a week to sort this mess out. It shouldn't take 6 months Tom wide.n some lanes and move some cables. There has to be a better way. Has no one quantified the economic impact? Mill-Hill-Boy
  • Score: 2

12:46am Fri 24 Jan 14

ElstreeLiving says...

"County Councillor Terry Douris, who is responsible for highways, “sincerely apologised” for the disruption caused by the “essential improvement works”.
He said “everything possible” was being done to minimise the disruption by ensuring the temporary signals were manually operated at busy times to ensure the maximum flow of traffic and diverting traffic by the Watford Bypass."

Everything possible?? Really??!! Manually operated at busy times yet they finish work at 5?! When exactly do they think it gets busy?? This is absolutely unacceptable. 24/7 and the works could be finished in less than half that time. THAT would be doing "everything possible".
"County Councillor Terry Douris, who is responsible for highways, “sincerely apologised” for the disruption caused by the “essential improvement works”. He said “everything possible” was being done to minimise the disruption by ensuring the temporary signals were manually operated at busy times to ensure the maximum flow of traffic and diverting traffic by the Watford Bypass." Everything possible?? Really??!! Manually operated at busy times yet they finish work at 5?! When exactly do they think it gets busy?? This is absolutely unacceptable. 24/7 and the works could be finished in less than half that time. THAT would be doing "everything possible". ElstreeLiving
  • Score: 3

11:29am Fri 24 Jan 14

TFEB says...

Try working 24/7 and the locals would be complaining about the noise.
Try working 24/7 and the locals would be complaining about the noise. TFEB
  • Score: 6

12:20pm Sun 26 Jan 14

wezils says...

Hi, Would you like to live next door to a 24 hr. building site? Would you want to be the ones working 24 hrs. a day in this weather? There are alternative routes you know. Or for a short hop try walking or cycling or leave earlier (I do). How long could it take in rush hour before they started the roadwork's, seemed to take a while when the traffic was up to the top of Barnet Lane/Furzehill road junction. Lets just try a bit of patience and wait till it's all finished shall we!
Hi, Would you like to live next door to a 24 hr. building site? Would you want to be the ones working 24 hrs. a day in this weather? There are alternative routes you know. Or for a short hop try walking or cycling or leave earlier (I do). How long could it take in rush hour before they started the roadwork's, seemed to take a while when the traffic was up to the top of Barnet Lane/Furzehill road junction. Lets just try a bit of patience and wait till it's all finished shall we! wezils
  • Score: 1

4:45pm Thu 30 Jan 14

mr.taxpayer says...

That junction has needed doing for at least 15 years, so its about time it was sorted out. All these moany elstree types, always whinging about something. Isn't the woman in the glasses the one who moaned about traffic outside her 'village' home on the crossroads? Surely they would be happy that something is now being done..?
That junction has needed doing for at least 15 years, so its about time it was sorted out. All these moany elstree types, always whinging about something. Isn't the woman in the glasses the one who moaned about traffic outside her 'village' home on the crossroads? Surely they would be happy that something is now being done..? mr.taxpayer
  • Score: 2

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