In August and September 2023 Hertfordshire County Council will further improve walking and cycling access at both ends of Digswell Park Road, which we detail below. This work is funded by the UK Government.
In 2020 bollards were installed on Digswell Park Road at the railway viaduct (pictured) to stop rat running and this had the desired effect of turning the road into a very pleasant walking and cycling route. This is particularly useful for children walking or cycling from Digswell village to Monks Walk School or people walking and cycling into the centre of Welwyn Garden City via the cycle path along Bessemer Road. The problem is that crossing the roads at both ends is very challenging, especially at busy times. Following a consultation in December 2021 which showed 88% of local residents in support, further works funded by the UK Government Active Travel Fund will be done this year. We previously reported on the planned works in November 2021.
Bessemer Road (A1000)
A new Toucan crossing (traffic light controlled crossing for pedestrians and people on cycles) will be installed on Bessemer Road. Safety will be improved as everyone will cross with the cars stopped by red lights. This is particularly important for use by school children in the morrning rush hour.
The location of the crossing is at the west side of the junction at the existing crossing point, shown circled in red. The blue arrow is Disgwell Park Road and the green arrow shows the existing Bessemer Rd cycle path.
Works here should start around 14th August with traffic lights to control flows. There will then be night time works mid to late September to complete the job, with the road completely closed 8pm to 5am.
Hertford Road (B1000)
At the north end of Digswell Park Road is the junction with Hertford Road, the busy B1000. Digswell Park Road joins Hertford Road at an acute angle pointing east, making turning out of the road difficult and encouraging cars turning in from the east to do so at speed.
The works will see the junction turned into a regular T junction. The land marked by the red triangle (currently grass verge) will be used for the road junction. The green coloured area, currently road, will be turned into pavement and grass verge. That extra space to the east of the Digswell Park Road junction allows a zebra crossing on Hertford Road (black lines), creating a safe formalised crossing.
The widened buff coloured pavement to either side of the zebra crossing will, in part, be made shared use for cycling, enabling families on cycles to reach Digswell Park Road without cycling on Hertford Road. To slow traffic down, speed cushions will be installed either side of the zebra, replacing the existing chicane.
Hertford Road road works will run from early to mid September and the road will be completely closed during this period with no access to the car park at the north end of Digswell Park Road. Pedestrian access will be maintained. Road vehicles will be diverted via Mundells and Bessemer Road.
When finished the Bessemer Road works will look like this:
The end result will be a safer walking and cycling route for local residents. Please let us have your comments on this and other schemes you’d like to see in the Welwyn and Digswell area.
WelHatCycling would like to thank Hertfordshire County Council for permission to use the images and plans used in this item.