Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has met with residents in the Handside Ward to discuss the impact of parking restrictions recently implemented in the local area. New Waiting Restrictions have been introduced on the junction at Handside Lane, Applecroft Road and Barleycroft Road, which have resulted in increased yellow lines in this Conservation Area.

Grant said, “I was very concerned to hear from my constituents that the recent County Council spending on the Waiting Restrictions has actually reduced visibility along the road for drivers and increased the risk of accidents. It is unacceptable that this scheme was implemented without proper attention to the parking consultation, and most importantly, to the views of residents.”

Resident Robert Flint said, “The County Council have ignored our concerns prior to and subsequent to painting double yellow lines along a considerable length of road between Applecroft Road and The Backhouse Rooms in Handside Lane. The double yellow lines far exceed the length of those on the other three sides of the junction and as a result a rat run has been created along Handside Lane between Marsden Road and the Junction of Applecroft and Barleycroft Road.”

Resident Lisa Grenfell said, “I fear that the County Council are failing to preserve and enhance the conservation area in the Handside and the Town Centre. In trying to improve safety in the area they have in fact made it far worse.”

Handside Ward Councillors, Helen Bromley and Fiona Thomson, and borough council officers asked Hertfordshire County Council to delay any parking changes until the results of a parking consultation in the area could be taken into consideration.

Councillor Thomson said: “It is frustrating for everyone involved that Herts County Council decided to move forward with this scheme before taking the feedback from the borough council’s consultation into account. We appreciate the need to balance a number of different factors when implementing new parking restrictions, but in this case we do not feel they have fully listened to Handside residents.”

Councillor Bomley added, “The borough council will shortly be asking everyone for their views about parking in the area and we urge everyone to respond. I hope even those who don’t drive themselves will tell us what they think. Safe parking and road use affects us all, residents, visitors, drivers and pedestrians.”