Road Safety in Northchurch
Road safety is one of the most important concerns for people in Northchurch and we are committed to making our roads safer. Traffic speed and a lack of safe places to walk and cycle can take away people's right to make safe and healthy journeys. Every 20 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road. Each crash is a tragedy, each crash is preventable. Herts County Council (HCC) Highways is responsible for road safety in Northchurch.
What we do
- Our Road Safety Committee, chaired by councillor Lara Pringle, identifies and responds to road safety concerns
- We consult local people, identify danger spots (see below) and inform the responsible authority (Herts Highways)
- We push for traffic calming measures that will reduce speed and make danger spots safer
- Although highways are the responsibility of HCC, we sometimes pay for road safety measures from our own limited budget or using grants. One example is Speed Indicator devices (SIDs). These measure the speed of approaching vehicles and display the speed. SIDs are not intended to directly enforce speed limits, but rather to inform motorists and encourage them to slow down when approaching a danger zone.
What we have done so far to make our roads safer
- We pay for a school crossing patrol in New Road outside St Mary's School
- We paid for a SID in the High Street by the Recreation Ground
- We applied for funding for another SID which was installed on New Road
- We applied for funding for new gates on the A4251 to make it clearer to drivers that they are entering a village
- We successfully lobbied for double yellow lines on the bend at the bottom of Darrs Lane and at the entrance to Mandelyns. On 5th September 2022, the county councillor informed the Parish Council that these will be installed before the end of the financial year (5th April 2023)
- We lobbied HCC to perform a wider road safety survey in Northchurch as promised in a vote in 2018. This was delayed by a review of traffic regulations, Covid and changes of staff but is finally to be addressed in 2023.
What you can do
- Let us know about road safety issues in Northchurch via our Contact us page
- Report a fault on the road or pavement to Herts Highways - broken or obscured signs, potholes, flooding, etc.
- Volunteer to run a Community Drivesafe scheme to educate drivers and make local roads safer, using roadside speed monitoring and promoting awareness. You will be given speed display equipment and stand at the roadside monitoring passing vehicles. Speeding motorists are sent an advisory letter and those who speed frequently could receive a visit from a police officer
You can see the danger spots identified by local residents in the images below. We have reported each danger spot to Herts County County Highways Department (HCC Highways) and asked them to introduce safety measures. However, in most cases they have either said that they do not consider the location to be dangerous or that they do not have any money for safety measures.
- Darrs Lane: we asked for the double yellow lines to be extended for a further 50m to prevent vehicles parking on the bend.
- High Street from The George & Dragon to Northchurch Recreation Ground: we asked for structural traffic calming measures. HCC refused so we paid for Speed Indicator Devices (SID).
- New Road outside the School: we asked HCC to pay for a school crossing patrol. HCC refused so we fund one ourselves.
- New Road north of the canal bridge: we applied to for a HCC grant for a SID which was installed in 2021.
- High Street crossing to Northchurch Recreation Ground: In November 2020 we asked Dacorum Borough Council (DBC) to prune the shrubs to increase visibility and this was done. However, the crossing is still hazardous for children & the elderly due to the high traffic speeds and the narrow island so we are paying for a survey to determine if this location is suitable for a signal controlled crossing. This would make the crossing safer and also reduce the speed of traffic entering the village. We have set aside funds for 25% of the cost of a Puffin crossing but the bulk of the funding would have to come from other sources such as HCC who are responsible for highways.
Danger spots identified by members of the public
1. Darrs Lane
- Dangerous parking at the bend
- Speeding on lower Darrs Lane
- Speeding on upper Darrs Lane
2. Mandelyns junction with High St
- Dangerous parking
3. High St
- Speeding between the G&D
and Recreation Ground
4. New Road
- Speeding motorcyclists, and
cars near the school
5. High Street
- Dangerous crossing opposite