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George Street should be fully pedestrianised as trialled during the Covid pandemic, say a majority of residents polled in a Fishpool Street Residents' Association (FSRA) survey.

With St Albans' High Street Recovery Pedestrianisation Trial coming to an end, Herts County Council will decide whether or not to reopen George Street to 2-way traffic, or keep a measure of pedestrianisation.

So we asked Fishpool residents to indicate which of three outcomes they wanted the County Council to adopt when the trial ends:

— Re-open George Street to 2-way traffic.

— Remain open one-way, Monday to Friday, but pedestrianised at weekends, as currently.

— Revert to pedestrianisation 7 days a week, as during Covid.

Our results show that more than half - 52.3 per cent - voted in favour of keeping George Street pedestrianised all week.

A further 36 per cent voted to keep the street open for 1-way traffic Monday to Friday, but pedestrianised at weekends.

The remaining 11.6 per cent want it to re-open fully to 2-way traffic.

A total of 86 residents, representing a majority of the homes in Fishpool Street, took part in the survey.

Here are the additional, unedited, comments contributed by some residents who took part:

  • I would not want George St to be permanently pedestrianised as this results in significant extra journey time to cross the town during working mornings. Perhaps the road could be open to 2way traffic during the week, but pedestrianised at weekends?

  • Closing George street to 2 way traffic only works if the surrounding road network can take the additional traffic congestion caused by the closure - it is clear they cannot. To get from Fishpool street to London road can currently take up to 20 minutes. London road to Fishpool street only takes 2.

  • The tiny pavements of George Street are not meant for traffic and pedestrians, let along traffic travelling both ways and deliveries

  • This is a first class opportunity to enhance and preserve this jewell in the crown of our city but with one caveat. SADC must work to encourage all year round retail vitality - simply closing the street is pointless and will spell the death knell of what is currently there.

  • The present one way and weekends works well. I would be happy with this, but it would be great if it were always pedestrian.

  • Please reduce the impact of the buses and school parents. The pavements just can’t take anymore battering. The pollution and danger the cars pose it’s awful.

  • I think George Street should become a real feature of St Albans. I know it would be an incredibly expensive project, but if it could be cobbled or partly cobbled (if it does become pedestrianised) that would help to add more charm to the street .

  • Many thanks for conducting this survey.

  • This option reduces the traffic congestion through the conservation area

  • Life was significantly better when George St was pedestrianised all week. Less traffic, more people walking around, less pollution.... the benefits go on and on. Let us not forget that Verulam Road was built so that non-local traffic would route around Fishpool St!

  • I frequently have to take my son to sports training across the other side of the city and it is a minor inconvenience to drive round the centre instead of through it, which we all benefit from. I didn't witness traffic issues on the replacement routes either. If anything I've seen traffic get worse on those routes since George St re-opened (are people driving more in and around town as the access is easier again?). I've noticed pedestrians assuming that it's still closed to traffic, including me. I was nearly knocked over by a car speeding past a couple of weeks ago, while walking around someone pushing a baby in a pram.

  • Let’s have one Street reduced of carbon emissions or pollution and Pedestrianised!

  • Like the pedestrianisation which I think could also capture Friday evenings for the restaurants/bars.

  • Please HCC lets step forwards with this as have many other towns and cities in the UK, not backwards. We should be pedestrianising our towns and introducing cycling and environmentally sustainable forms of public transport and the abbey precincts should be at the very heart of these initiatives for St Albans.

  • Pedestrianisation as during Covid is the only answer to this major traffic issue.

  • George street closure is causing residents to make unnecessary convoluted journeys as well as longer journey times which contribute towards an existing pollution issue. George street is not often used by businesses (only one restaurant puts a couple of tables outside for only a few months a year when the weather permits) - it seems there is little advantage to closing it and it will create better traffic flow. Two way traffic worked fine in George Street before.

  • Or 2 way

  • Narrow street best suited to pedestrians only with a window for delivery

  • Absolutely NOT a return to 2-way traffic

  • Narrow street not very well suited to business traffic which can deliver before 11 am.

  • I have voted the above based on building community spirit, increased safety, and improving environmental factors (i.e. lower CO2 emissions.)

  • To protect its integrity as the prettiest and old street in St Albans

  • Safer to have one rule rather than changing at weekends , pedestrians are confused.

  • The present one way downhill set up is creating major traffic problems in surrounding streets. George Street should open to two way traffic as previously, either 7 days or at Mon-Fri.

  • The parking bays at the lower end of the street should be for 20 minute loading/unloading only and the 'no parking' for the rest of the road should be properly enforced to assist traffic flow.

  • I don’t think that the issue of George St can be seen in isolation. There are 2 major issues. One is the volume of traffic along Fishpool St and the other is school coaches. The option I have selected - one way in the week/closed at weekends - helps with the 1st issue but not the second. Making it pedestrianised all the time would help with both issues but I feel that is too extreme. My view re the coaches is that the boys can walk from the high st the rest of the way….

  • 2nd option (obviously) to open Mon to Fri.

  • Too confusing atm

  • 20mph speed limit on Fishpool Street and fill in the potholes!

  • It is such a nuisance not to be able to drive straight up to the crossroads to get to Sainsburys etc.

  • Second choice would be one way during week. I definitely don’t think it should go back to 2-way traffic all the time.

  • The pavements in George Street are very narrow, especially for those in wheelchairs or parents with pushchairs. The atmosphere is so much more comfortable when one can walk in the street without worrying about speeding delivery drivers/riders. In warmer weather it is pleasant to have tables and chairs from the bars and cafés as in continental towns.

  • Street not suitable for two way traffic, hybrid of open/closed too confusing.


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