Did lack of lights prevent traffic chaos in Berkhamsted?

Traffic builds up regularly on Berkhamsted High Street
Traffic builds up regularly on Berkhamsted High Street

Commuters fearing the worst when traffic lights were ruled out of action at a busy crossroads on the High Street in Berkhamsted have been left amazed after traffic flowed better than usual.

Residents have been flocking online to highlight how the lights being out of action at the junction of Kings Road last weekend appeared to have inadvertently improved the traffic flow.

Kevin Thomas, a resident of Berkhamsted, told the Gazette: “This is a very, very busy junction with long queues building up in all directions at peak times.

“Rather bizarrely, with the traffic lights out of action, traffic flow on this busy weekend has been far smoother than normal and queuing almost non-existent.

“It was great not to have a line of stationary traffic down the High Street, pumping out pollution.”

Kevin Sanders, who owns Eyecare Opticians next to the junction, said: “The traffic will back up on the High Street for quite a way, but there was no congestion and it was quite noticeable.”

An one member of the public posted on the ‘Everything Berko’ Facebook page: “I thought how well the traffic flowed without the lights as well. There were no queues in any direction.

“The problem is that when they are working the phasing is all wrong. If you just miss them then you have to wait, what seems like an age, for them to change again – therefore, encouraging more people to jump the lights.

“Perhaps it’s time that the powers that be took at look at them?”

Councillor Ian Reay, who sits on the transport and environment committee of Berkhamsted Town Council, said: “I did notice myself [the lack of traffic].”

But he added that an agreement of the new multi-storey car park being built was the implementation of ‘smart lights’ at the junction.

He said: “These smart lights detect cars and adjust the traffic flow. They will be far more efficient lights.”