Following the recommendations from the St Albans District Council Public Realm Committee on 13 December, the St Albans Project Board that includes elected members from the County Council and district and representatives from the BID, has agreed that a trial of road closures will go ahead later in 2022 for up to 18 months.
- Market Place (including Spencer Street and Upper Dagnall Street up to Cross Road) closed to traffic – keeping the changes already in place until and during the trials.
- High Street (from Verulam Road to The Peahen) will be opened to traffic in the new year, with trial closures to motor traffic to be reintroduced later in 2022. The road has been closed to traffic except for timed access since 2020.
- George Street (High Street to Spicer Street) will be opened to traffic in the new year, with trial closures to motor traffic to be reintroduced later in 2022. The road has been closed to traffic except for timed access since 2020.
- Verulam Road – changes to parking and loading made in 2020 to be removed in the new year, and similar arrangements reintroduced as a trial later in 2022.
Starting in the spring, the trial will comprise 2 phases and allows for monitoring and evaluation of each arrangement. Each phase will last for at least 4 months to allow for the changes to settle in and ensure that the data collection is representative. There will be opportunities for you to give feedback throughout the trial and a formal consultation will take place at the end to seek people’s views.
The trial stages will be:
- from spring 2022: Market Place to remain closed. George Street to be closed. High Street to be open to two-way traffic Monday – Friday and closed at weekends. Improvements to signage, emergency vehicle access and removal of some planters.
- from summer or autumn 2022: High Street and George Street to be closed and Market Place to remain closed. Improvements to signage, emergency vehicle access and planters as in first stage and further improvements as required.
Each stage will include a provision for deliveries during the morning period.
The trial plans have incorporated feedback from the online survey conducted over the summer, as well as from key stakeholders and the emergency services.
Temporary closures were introduced to support social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as making more space for pedestrians, closing the roads to motor traffic created opportunities for outdoor dining, trading and events and a more attractive, healthier, and safer environment for people to enjoy in the city centre.
The trial allows further engagement and consultation with local residents, businesses and other key stakeholders on the changes and enables us to monitor the impacts of the changes while they are in place. The trial will inform decisions by the project board about whether some or all of the changes should be kept permanently or removed.
More info at Herts Gov