Rickmansworth High Street vehicle access arrangements set to change
Experimental measures introduced to help make Rickmansworth High Street pedestrian-friendly and restricted to traffic will be changing. Following a public consultation exercise, the decision has been made to amend the measures and close the road to traffic at weekends only. The road will be reopened to traffic during the week.
Following consultation and discussions with residents and businesses, the Project Board, comprising local councillors from Hertfordshire County Council and Three Rivers District Council, have recommended that the High Street will close from 10am on Saturdays through to 6am on Mondays.
It is proposed these changes will come into effect in the new year following amendments to the relevant traffic regulation orders. Changes will be made to the existing parking arrangement in the High Street to improve loading arrangements for business. Further blue badge and pedestrian improvements will also be made.
The Rickmansworth High Street Recovery trial has been in place since March 2023 and has recently been consulted upon to seek views on future arrangements. 861 completed responses were received. 46% of respondents were supportive of the trial measures whilst 49% would prefer the road to be reopened to traffic. This followed on from the initial changes and timed closure of the High Street that were implemented in response to the challenges of Covid, enabling vulnerable people to access services more safely. These changes were initially engaged upon in June 2021 with support for retaining the changes as part of a trial arrangement.
Cllr Reena Ranger, Deputy Executive Member for Highways at Hertfordshire County Council and Member for Rickmansworth East and Oxhey Park said: “When we consulted with residents and businesses, it was clear that the trial measures were not working for many of them. A weekend closure to traffic will help to create a safer space to run markets and events to support the high Street.”
Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Three Rivers District Council's Deputy Leader, and High Street Recovery Trial board representative said: "The High Street Recovery trial has benefited many people who visit Rickmansworth High Street. Those who walked and cycled into Rickmansworth supported it and wanted it to remain traffic-free. People who drove into Rickmansworth felt more inconvenienced, even though there are over 500 parking spaces in nearby car parks. Keeping the road closed after 10am weekdays did not achieve majority public support and there were mixed views from businesses. Going to a weekend closure only will still allow for street markets then and possibility of re-visiting further days closures if the public and businesses want that.”
Further details, including a summary of the consultation feedback, can be found on the High Street Recovery web pages located on the Hertfordshire County Council website http://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/HighStreetRecovery.