ePetition details


We the undersigned petition the County Council to Reduce the speed limit between Hitchin and Codicate via Little Almshoe Junction to 40mph or to install safety cameras as deterrents.

The Little Almshoe junction is becoming more and more of an accident hot spot with more collisions between motorists, cyclists and horse riders. Its just waiting for a death to occur before anything is done. 60mph past houses and businesses is reckless and across a small country junction is taking unnecessary risks to life.


This ePetition ran from 04/06/2019 to 30/09/2019 and has now finished.

Nobody signed this ePetition.

Council response

I refer to your letter of 6th June 2019 regarding safety concerns of London Road (B656) and the Little Almshoe Lane crossroads, south of St Ippolyts and respond as follows:
As you correctly state, the B656 London Road is national speed limit past the Little Almshoe Lane crossroads, which for a single carriageway road is 60mph. Speed limits in Hertfordshire are governed by a document entitled the Speed Management Strategy (SMS). The SMS has been developed from guidelines provided to Highway Authorities by the Department of Transport Circular 01/2013 entitled ‘Setting Local Speed Limits’. The Council’s SMS is available to download from HCC’s website using the following link:
One of the key factors outlined in the SMS is that speed limits must be realistic and in line with the local environment and Section 2.10 of the SMS outlines the general criteria for 60mph limits. The B656 London Road at this location currently fits the guidelines for a 60mph limit, as it is an upper tier road with predominant traffic flow function (Typically A & B roads) with few bends, junctions or accesses.

Section 6 of the SMS also provides relevant criteria for the installation of Speed Cameras. Stringent criteria are used for the selection of sites, based on collected
data from Police collated over the previous three year period. An emphasis is placed on the number of people killed or seriously injured for speed cameras to be deployed. This location does not currently fit the required criteria for speed cameras.

You have requested additional signage and lighting along this stretch of London Road. A site check has revealed that there are traffic signs either side of the crossroads in London Road warning of the crossroads. However, a review has been made on the visibility of these signs with a view to improving the advanced signage (new signs with yellow background which are a good visual aid to motorists). The location of any new signage will need to be carefully considered as potentially poor maintenance of private field boundary hedgerows can cause traffic signs to be obscured.

I would finally like to provide you with some background information on how we allocate funds for road safety schemes. In Hertfordshire, we have over 3,000 miles of roads, which include some of the busiest roads in the country, so, unfortunately, it is inevitable there will be some collisions. By definition, collisions are rare, random, multi-factor events always preceded by a situation in which one or more road users have failed to cope with the road environment. On an average year in Hertfordshire we have 2500 personal injury collisions on our highway network.
We actively endeavour to reduce the number and severity of collisions on our roads through the work of our highway safety engineering specialists. However, road safety involves a multi-agency approach, with engineering being only one part. This is why we also work with our road safety partners to educate and inform road users about what they can do to keep themselves and others safe on our roads.
We would of course like to address all road safety issues on our roads. However, because we do not have limitless core funding, we have to direct our resources to those areas where our work has the greatest potential to reduce the number and severity of collisions that occur.
This location doesn’t meet the intervention levels to trigger core casualty reduction investigation; however we are aware that local issues and perceptions are a real concern. For this reason among others, the highway service has a Highway Locality Budget (HLB) programme. As outlined above, the existing signage has been reviewed in consultation with your County Councillor, Richard Thake. The HLB funding stream is available to County Councillors to undertake primarily maintenance, but on occasion, this can be diverted towards undertaking miscellaneous highway investigations to understand the local highway concerns, in this case the investigation focused on the existing signage.
I trust that the above provides an adequate explanation on how HCC, as Highway Authority, considers both speed limits and road safety issues on the road network throughout the County.