£360k signs tip of £600k transport system iceberg in Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar

Traffic sign on Broadwater Road

Traffic sign on Broadwater Road - Credit: Archant

ELECTRONIC road signs are the tip of a transport system iceberg, which will include Big Brother technology at a cost of more than £600,000.

Traffic sign on Broadwater Road

Traffic sign on Broadwater Road - Credit: Archant

A timetable for the implementation of the ‘Intelligent Transport Systems’ (ITS) scheme was revealed to the Welwyn Hatfield Times by an opposition county councillor last week.

An ANPR camera

An ANPR camera - Credit: Daniel Wilson

ITS will include variable message signs (VMS), like the one in Broadwater Road, Welwyn Garden City, as reported in the Welwyn Hatfield Times last week, CCTV and automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR).

An ANPR camera

An ANPR camera - Credit: Daniel WilsonDaniel Wilson

A timetable for the scheme’s introduction, from Hertfordshire County Council contractor Ringway, was sent to the WHT by Lib Dem councillor Paul Zukowskyj, who is undecided as to the massive project’s benefits.

The document revealed WGC would have nine VMS and three CCTV cameras installed by the end of this month and 12 ANPR cameras set up by the end of October.

Hatfield would see nine VMS, seven ANPR and four CCTV cameras up and running by the end of this month.

And big changes will be coming to Potters Bar’s roadsides early next year, with six VMS, eight ANPR and seven CCTV cameras installed by the end of February.

Most Read

The total cost for Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Potters Bar will be £633,000.

The cost of the VMS portion of ITS will cost more than £350,000.

The county council hailed the scheme and said it would “provide safe, efficient, environmentally friendly and affordable multi-modal transport facilities”.

A statement on the new initiative’s ‘vision’ read: “It is envisaged that in the near future, Hertfordshire will have an integrated transport system and improved traffic and travel information for all travellers using road and rail facilities.”

But Cllr Zukowskyj said of the VMS part of the plan: “I’m a bit torn to be honest.”

He said: “I do think they can be useful, assuming they actually have useful local info on them. I’m not convinced the locations are that useful, some of them seem a bit useless to be honest.”

He added: “I think at the minute I’m reserving judgement to see how they work in practice.

“If they have lots of useless stuff on them, people will start to ignore them, so they’ll be a complete waste of money.

“If they do provide useful info, I’m willing to agree they were a sensible development.

“We’ll have to wait and see.”