Car park management

Unauthorized weekend work on the Northgate End multi-storey car park has led to traffic chaos in Stortford town center

The traffic chaos which led to the shutdown of Bishop’s Stortford town center on Saturday March 19 was mainly caused by unauthorized work over the weekend at the Northgate End multi-storey car park.

Motorists fumed, appointments were missed and businesses suffered a loss of trade as traffic jams jammed the city throughout the day. As well as the temporary 24/7 traffic lights at Northgate End, which were the main cause of the chaos, there were temporary four-way lights at the Hockerill Junction and roadworks at Windhill.

Cllr Graham McAndrew of Stortford, who is deputy cabinet member for highways and transport at Hertfordshire County Council, told the India the range of works that had been scheduled for the weekend and revealed the problem with the Northgate End works.

Traffic lights on Link Road (55613118)

An email from County Hall’s network management team said: ‘We had cleared work on the Hockerill Junction to accommodate the Affinity Water works. Due to the location we fully anticipated that this would cause delays and we have therefore scheduled the works for the weekend with extended works and manual control to reduce traffic jams as much as possible.

“Additionally, the works were advertised on our social media platforms and to the local member in advance to help inform customer journeys.

“What ultimately led to the level of congestion encountered were the temporary signals for the Northgate End car park development which we had not cleared for weekend work.

Traffic lights at Link Road roundabout and Northgate End (55613155)
Traffic lights at Link Road roundabout and Northgate End (55613155)

“In light of last weekend’s issues, we have reiterated to the developer of the Northgate End car park that their permit does not allow weekend work and that no future work should take place over a weekend. They have confirmed that they will cease all future weekend work activity.”

Work on the B1004 Windhill scheduled for Saturday March 26 by UK Power Solutions has been postponed.

There are roadworks at the junction of The Causeway with Adderley Road from Friday to Sunday this weekend and next weekend.

“These works are intended to facilitate an Affinity Water connection to the paddling pool, which I understand there is an eagerness to deliver,” the Network Management email reads.

Advance warning of Affinity Water works on The Causeway and Adderley Road (55614815)
Advance warning of Affinity Water works on The Causeway and Adderley Road (55614815)

“The works were previously scheduled as part of a complete closure of the A1250 The Causeway road. Following various discussions and site meetings, we managed to reduce traffic management to lane closures, thus keeping the open network, although reduced.

“The work has been scheduled for the weekend to avoid the Northgate End car park development work which is only permitted on weekdays. We had considered undertaking this work at night but due to the properties nearby residential buildings and expected noise levels, this was not an option.

“Works on the M11 and Essex motorways to Birchanger roundabout have caused further disruption to Bishop’s Stortford and we are therefore coordinating the works with an extra level of scrutiny. This is despite the increased pressure we are under to facilitate the delivery of several projects, mainly related to development sites.”

* Temporary 24/7 traffic lights and footpath closure at Northgate End car park site to continue for longer as construction work has been extended until May 1.

A notice from Herts County Council reads: ‘This extension is due to a number of technical difficulties at the site. Following this extension we are currently rescheduling various works to avoid any unnecessary disruption to the network.’


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