Trader says No to Welwyn one-way system

FEARS are growing among traders and villagers in Welwyn that the one-way system introduced following the blaze at The Wellington could be made permanent.

Following June’s fire at the 14th century High Street pub, Hertfordshire Highways closed Codicote Road to enable the erection of scaffolding around the building.

To manage the traffic flow in the village a one-way system was then set up in September – which is proving unpopular.

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Paul Zukowskyj said it was “ridiculous” and hoped it would not become permanent.

“It’s killing trade in the village and it’s clear the one-way system cannot stay,” he said.

Mr Zukowskyj was also unhappy with the amount of time Codicote Road has been closed.

“Herts Highways and the owners of the pub need to pull their fingers out.

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“They need to tell us when the road and pub is going to re-open.”

Francesca Walkington, of Weal Architects in Hobbs Hill, said: “I hope they are not going to make the one-way system permanent.

“It’s really difficult to get from one end of the village to another – particularly at rush hour.

“It also means there is a disincentive to stop at the shops. If one drives past without finding a space it’s a real effort to drive all the way around the village to loop back in.

“Traders are in despair.”

Mrs Walkington also criticised the size of the scaffolding that was jutting out into Codicote Road.

“Camping on the public highway for months like this really is not on.

“I’ve done a lot of work to damaged listed buildings – including having walls freestanding – and worked in London on tight sites, the scaffold really, really does not have to be as wide as they have erected.”

Herts Highways is adamant the one-way scheme is the best way to manage traffic during repairs.

A spokeswoman said: “How long the one-way system is in place for and when the road will re-open depends entirely on how long the repair works to the pub take.

“However, there are not any plans at the moment to make the one-way system permanent.”

Pub owner Chris Gerard was unavailable for comment.