The Clock Roundabout – Traffic Light Survey

The Danesbury Residents Association (DRA) has been at the forefront trying to resolve concerns about traffic congestion issues, and specifically grid-locking which was predicted would, and has arisen, as a result of two main events:

  1. The A1(M) EXIT 6 (N) slip road changes which encouraqes traffic to make a rat-run from the A1(M) Exit slip road, along the Welwyn  By-pass and back on to the 20160222_160825Motorway at the A1(M) entry slip by the Clock,
  2. The opening of the new Clock Gardens development of 50 apartments with the potential for residents’ cars to access and egress directly onto the roundabout at rush hour in the morning and evenings

The DRA have been actively pressing for a single traffic light to be installed on the south side of the roundabout, to break up the traffic flow, which would discourage the A1(M) rat-runners and allow local traffic access to the roundabout from all directions. (For the background story – see The Clock – the seconds are ticking away)

In their quest for ‘ANSWERS’ and ”ACTION’ County Councillor Richard Smith has been actively supporting the DRA. But, until recently, the DRA has been advised that there was no way that Highways England would consider placing traffic lights at the Clock. But, it seems that things might be changing!

Recently we have noticed that County Highways have been installing temporary ANPR cameras at various points on the A1(M) Exit 6 entry and exit points, and also attached to posts on all sides of the Clock Roundabout. The use of ANPR cameras enables a subsequent analysis to match rat-running vehicles as they enter and leave the system – and thereby produce the evidence we all seek.

So, what is actually happening?

County Councillor Richard Smith has come to our rescue once again, and he extracted the following note from somebody who, by the length of his Job Title, must surely know what is going on – and judging by his response to  Richard Smith – he does!

The following extract is from a helpful email dated 6th July 2016 from County Highways Group Manager Sanjay Patel. to County Cllr. Richard Smith, and relates to ‘a Survey being carried out ‘next week’... Unfortunately we have been unable to include the ‘attached plan‘ referred to, but the explanations are nevertheless very helpful.

Re: Traffic lights/ANPR Camera Survey by J6 A1

The attached plan indicates the locations of the where the surveys will be carried out and this will provide the following information that we will use for the signals design:

*       2 day Manual classified turning counts at all 3 junctions (the Clock, A1m SB off slip / A100 junction and the A1m NB off slip / B197 junction) as shown in yellow on the attached plan.
*       2 day Queue lengths at all 3 junctions
*       2 day ANPR surveys at the locations shown as open red circles on the attached plan
*       7 day ATC or video based MCC counts at the ANPR locations.

Sanjay Patel
Group Manager – Highways Operations & Strategies Intelligent Transport Systems & Development Management & Standards
Hertfordshire County Council


We have all seen the orange boxes and the temporary cameras and other equipment at all sides of the roundabout, and observant residents have noticed that a visual survey of traffic entering and leaving Clock Gardens and the roundabout, has indeed started. So we know that, at last, somebody has listened to us all, and at last it appears that something is happening.

But, don’t hold your breath, this is only a Survey. As soon as we hear of further actions, we will try to keep you informed.


One thought on “The Clock Roundabout – Traffic Light Survey

  1. Thank you for your concise and very informative account of the current situation at the Clock Roundabout. We first put forward that suggestion to the Highways Authority as long ago as 2008! County Councillor Richard Smith’s support and involvement has contributed to the current survey activity that we all hope will lead to a good solution to the problem.

    We shall continue with our quest and, of course, we shall continue to “watch this space” with interest.

    Peter Branchflower
    Chairman, Danesbury Residents’ Association

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