Letter about A1(M) non-widening

September 8, 2013 12:00 AM
By Cllr Malcolm Cowan
It is not too often I have to say I agree with council leader John Dean, but on the issue of the A1(M) non-widening, I must.
John may not be aware, and I am sure readers are not, that this latest plan is the 5th in just a few years. First we had a climber lane from the Clock to the top of the hill on the way towards Stevenage. Then there was converting the hard shoulder into a running lane when the road was busy - an idea I fear will eventually lead to a major pile-up, but what do I know. Then there was easing the entrance onto the motorway northbound, and also at junction 7 - Stevenage south, followed by turning the northbound hard shoulder into a full lane - this was being discussed with the county council just a month ago.
Now, out of the blue, comes merging traffic further south, in other words, just a paint job. As John Dean says, a complete lack of consultation that shows the contempt the Highways Agency has for the public it is supposed to be serving.
When Grant Shapps and I and other local councillors met the Highways Agency over trying to reduce the motorway noise, we saw at first hand their lack of accountability to anyone and the way even the transport ministers, their supposed bosses, did not know what they were doing. So, while we protest about how they have foisted the cheapest possible non-solution to motorway congestion on us, maybe Grant can use his energy to get ministers to end this extravagant (in other parts of the country) and remote quango's ability to behave as it wants.
Yours sincerely
Malcolm Cowan
LibDem county and borough councillor