Royston residents’ concerns over emergency access route to new housing development

PUBLISHED: 12:01 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:00 17 February 2018

The view looking down Garden Walk towards the access point at the end of the road. Picture: Pete Chalk

The view looking down Garden Walk towards the access point at the end of the road. Picture: Pete Chalk

Archant

Royston residents of an area that will neighbour a new housing development are concerned an access route to the homes will cause an influx of traffic in an already busy street.

The access point to the new development from Garden Walk. Picture: Pete Chalk The access point to the new development from Garden Walk. Picture: Pete Chalk

Pete Chalk and Mike Cummins, of Garden Walk, and their neighbours on the road and in Hawthorn Way, had originally understood the plans for access to the new site for emergency services and buses to include rise and fall bollards to stop vehicles other than these using the access. However, they learnt in the last week that a Traffic Regulation Order may be used instead.

They delivered 140 letters to homes around the area and had an “astonishing response.”

Hawthorn Way resident Liz Smith said: “We have to wonder why emergency vehicles would want to exit the estate onto Garden Walk when surely the quickest route out of Royston would be via the junction with the A505?

“We request that if it is deemed necessary to have an access point from the estate into Garden Walk, that bollards are put in, to prevent unnecessary traffic using Garden Walk and to maintain the safety of this corner of Royston.”

The view looking up Garden Walk from near the access point. Picture: Pete Chalk The view looking up Garden Walk from near the access point. Picture: Pete Chalk

Sylvia Phillips, of Garden Walk, said: “I’m very concerned to hear that cars will be able to access the new estate from Garden Walk even if it is in contravention of a TRO. I see people turn right out of Garden Walk in contravention of that traffic order so there will be those that use the new access when they should not.”

Around 30 residents turned up to the Royston Town Council planning comittee meeting on Monday night, which was also attended by North Herts district Councillor Tony Hunter.

Mr Chalk said: “It would appear it was much to the surprise of all the councillors, as I think there were only originally about 10 to 15 chairs out for people to sit in. The room was packed and there were people standing out of the door!

“After the meeting their were several people who were still a little unhappy that they were unable to have their say, almost all had known nothing whatsoever about this meeting was ever going ahead.”

Mr Chalk reported that after the meeting several people queried whether a gate could be installed onto the site.

Martin and Louise Beale, of Garden Walk, said: “We don’t understand how you build Twidgens and Fairview with gates, and not ours – which has schoolchildren walking down the road on a daily basis.”

Councillor Tony Hunter, who represents Royston Meridian on North Herts District Council, told the Crow: “Myself and Councillor Fiona Hill attended the meeting advised of the process and current state of affairs concerning access to Garden Walk.

“We explained that currently the NHDC planning committee is talking to Highways about a single carriageway wide enough for emergency vehicles managed by a TRO.

“It would only be used for emergency vehicles, and possibly buses if they wanted to go down there, but we haven’t got confirmation of that as it stands.

“Nothing has been confirmed yet, hopefully at the planning comittee meeting in March a decision can be made.

“I wasn’t surpised about the number of people who turned up to the meeting on Monday, obviously the people who lived there would be affected and naturally whatever system they put in it would have to be got to be sensible and manageable so that its enforceable. Otherwise it’ll become a rat run and there will be no point – you can’t have enforcing officer 24/7, that would be ludicrous. It’s about making it work for everyone.”

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