Letter to Editor: Could roadworks in Harlow be better managed?

News / Tue 2nd Jul 2024 at 06:56am

Dear Editor,

THE area of Harlow Town Centre is undergoing a lot of roadworks, and will continue to “enjoy” them for over another year. I am not asking if the long term changes to the road layout is necessary, but could they be better managed?

Regularly there are long traffic delays caused by two lanes being reduced to single lanes by cones. In many cases the lane reductions are necessary to protect both commuters and the workforce, but are they all really needed.

The included photo shows one such lane reduction, and it is located between the Sainsburys roundabout and the telephone exchange roundabout. There are no ongoing roadworks in this short stretch of road, so why reduce traffic flow by taking out a lane?

I am not a traffic flow expert, but do wonder if there could also be other changes to the coned layouts to help traffic flow, and only moved back in place as and when needed.

Given the significant numbers of residents affected by the delays, could we ask that those who designed the traffic management areas visit the sites and see if there are better ways to help traffic flow.


Nick Langman

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22 Comments for Letter to Editor: Could roadworks in Harlow be better managed?:

2024-07-02 07:38:12

Well said Nick. I think once they have the cones out it is too much bother to take them back again. They could do better.

Richard Adams
2024-07-02 07:44:26

Well said Nick. I think once they have the cones they can't be bothered to take them back in again. They could do better.

Guy Flegman
2024-07-02 07:58:22

In Canada they put out the cones in the morning and put them away when work stops in the evening, and when the cones are out there are nice people added to direct the traffic and answer questions if you have any, though they will fine you if you drive disrespectfully

Hopcroft Brian
2024-07-02 08:57:39

As Elizabeth Way is currently closed for traffic coming from Eastwick, the town centre gridlock is now full of HGVs as well causing more havoc. Just a footnote to all of this current carnage. The plans to create an expressway in and around town leading to the station etc is all very grand, one problem prevails. Unless there are plans to widen the A414 out of Harlow to the Eastwick roundabout none of it will alleviate the issues that surround congestion in Harlow. All of the road plans proposed or otherwise simply don’t legislate for the fact that the towns population is now fast approaching 100k. The town’s infrastructure simply isn’t designed for that volume of traffic.

Crazyhorse 74
2024-07-02 11:39:14

Could do better is an understatement lol.

2024-07-02 12:35:54

A primary school child could do better at solving the ridiculous gridlock. Maybe if boy wonder came out of his ivory tower to see the chaos being caused and then relate it back to Essex council.

2024-07-02 12:45:29

One of the lanes on the roundabout itself is coned off, hence the need to have only one lane of traffic entering the roundabout. Otherwise vehicles wouldn't have the space/distance to manuver if going right or over. A chicane so to speak. Making the left approach lane a left turn only would have been better. I only realised this when stuck in that very bit last week, it didn't appear to make sense until I was next in line to enter the roundabout, then it did.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-07-02 12:46:22

This is just the beginning of course folks, work to create the so called sustainable transport corridors are as a result of all the councillors in Harlow being party to the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town project. This plan will see all of the vehicles being used by the residents living in some 10,000 new homes at Gilston having to come out on to the A414. The road from the Gilston roundabout to the station roundabout is not going to be widened, the River Stort valley will be trashed by a new road linked in to Riverway and in due course the transport corridor will cross Southern Way near the Latton Bush Centre, requiring traffic lights to be erected. Costing tens of millions it will do nothing to ease congestion on roads across the town, which is set to get much worse with the construction of some 16500 homes in and around Harlow.. If people keep voting Tory or Labour or don;t vote at all, nothing will change for the better. Nicholas Taylor, Leader of Harlow Alliance.

John Cobbold
2024-07-02 15:03:25

Sainsbury's roundabout to the telephone exchange roundabout is reduced to one lane as on the other side of the telephone exchange roundabout - Velizy Ave (and I think all other exits) are also reduced down to one lane with actual works being carried out there, they reduce the lane before the roundabout so people aren't forced to change lane while on the roundabout or last minute as they exit the roundabout. If they leave it open you will have people merging too later and possibly crashing through the closure where people are working. Better to have people in lane earlier rather than later, and better that the bottleneck of 2 into 1 is on the road leading up to the roundabout than on the roundabout itself.

2024-07-02 15:16:40

Gave up shopping at Sainsbury's, gridlock in the area most of the day.

2024-07-02 16:46:19

Is it normal for the traffic to be gridlocked from Church Langley to the town centre between 8am and 9am in the morning? Went that way for the first time in years this morning as was avoiding First Avenue. Took me 50 minutes to do a journey that usually , after 9am, takes just 15 ! Did a left at Mark Hall as the traffic was stood still on that roundabout heading for the town then got stuk before Church Langley roundabout..

James Gamble
2024-07-03 09:58:26

Sorry what road works? Surely you mean temporary repairs.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-07-03 10:08:16

I have had to drive from and to Staple Tye and Riverway this morning at 8am, a round journey of nearly an hour. Many roads were heavily congested with traffic. Despite this our councillors still think that building 16500 homes in and around Harlow is a good idea and that many more people will use a bycycle, bus or walk despite the weather.

2024-07-03 12:02:28

Nicholas - the road from gilston to the station over the river and rail line is indeed bring widened! The company I work for is tendering for that construction contract!

2024-07-03 15:26:15

Stuart, "the road from Gilston to the station over the river and rail line is indeed being widened" but this is only for Minicabs and Taxis and the occasional bus. This is only after they manage to purchase the new buses, and Essex Highways admits this will be from 2030 to 2032 if they can find the money to purchase new buses.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-07-04 11:58:00

Thanks Tonyb for the comment. It is a simple fact that this work being carried out will do nothing to reduce the traffic that already uses that road, these drivers are coming in to and out of Harlow from far and wide, they are never going to walk/cycle/use a bus to and from home.Neither will most of those who will live in the new housing estates (sorry I meant to say villages!), simply because like Church Langley there will be only a few job opportunities on site so everyone working will be a commuter, all coming out on to the A414. These developments are all about greed not housing need, as demonstrated by the reduction in the number of affordable housing that will now be built.

Michael beere
2024-07-06 10:32:14

Unbelievable traffic jams have now become the norm on all major routes into and around Harlow town. How on earth has this situation been allowed to develop and apparently not just for a few weeks? 18 months of horrendous waste, of time, fuel and money to the thousands who have to endure this pathetic snarling up all our roads. Why was this work not done in a way that allowed traffic to be minimally inconvenienced. The work on 2 roundabouts at the same time seems to be sadistic in the extreme to the travelling public. What is wrong with Essex County Council? First of all they allow the town to become known as pothole city. Now it's becoming known as the town to avoid at all costs. So much for attracting people and investment into Harlow. This chaos really is a disgrace. The Tories running the council are also a disgrace and yet again are treating Harlow people in contempt. Surely there are some people with brains in county hall or am I missing something?

2024-07-06 15:52:48

This project is backed by the Conservative Government, which might explain why all the Conservative councillors seem to be supporting this Conservative-run East Hertfordshire project. Conservative-run Essex County Council Highways leads this plan, and the man responsible for it is Mr David Sprunt. He aims to encourage people to travel by public transport, cycle, or walk. Mr. David Sprunt doesn’t have the money to fix the many defects in Harlow, so he concentrates on new work and has new money for the Strategic Transport Corridors. He does have £172million Housing Infrastructure Grant of taxpayers money. This is to enable the infrastructure for new development to be in place before the new homes are built. In addition to the new crossing, the Housing Infrastructure Grant will fund the roads to the north of Harlow, the widening of the existing Stort crossing, a new railway bridge and the sustainable transport corridor from Gilston to the town centre, including re-configuring the Burnt Mill and Fifth Avenue roundabouts. Take a look at my friends site: roysharlow.co.uk there you might find sme more info.

Peter Hutchin
2024-07-08 16:20:15

spoke to ecc about this and they asked if i was an expert in traffic management as were their people . lsaid no but i did have some common sense . no comment

Peter Hutchin
2024-07-08 16:26:15

a good first problem for our new MP to deal with

2024-07-09 08:46:45

Makes no difference whether there are roadworks in town or not like many other places gridlock occurs particularly during the rush hours.The elephant in the room here is that there are just to many cars and whilst its not always possible to travel across town by other means( ie public transport or walking and cycling)certainly if people adopted these modes of transport some of these problems might be alleviated.Its not always possible or practical to travel from my house to the town without getting my car out of the garage,a distance of less than three miles,but mostly and especially during rush hours I will adopt the cycling option just so my journey times are quicker and so I am not adding to the problem.

2024-07-09 10:05:12

Peter Hutchin. I also spoke with ECC and was met with the same response. I told the person not to be rude and actually answer the questions I put to him. 1 Who the hell decided to gridlock our town with multiple roadworks at the same time. 2 Who is responsible for leaving a road 1/2 repaired and in a dangerous state of repair, Momples Road. Hopefully our new MP might have better luck with some answers.

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