Surveys & Inquiry

Traffic surveys & conclusions of MOT inquiry

By Bryan Little

Congestion in Fore Street
Peter Ruffles
Public Inquiry

Traffic Survey
A series of road traffic surveys were conducted in August 1962 along the lines set out by the Road Research Laboratory and the London traffic survey.  The purpose was to determine the traffic flows through Hertford and the surrounding environs. These type of traffic surveys are known as “origin and destination” surveys.

Over 2 consecutive days, 18 people were engaged to quiz motorists as to where they had come from, where they were going to and how often they made the journey.  On the first day, the west-bound traffic was stopped and questioned; there were two road blocks – one in Ware Road and one in London Road. The following day, the east-bound traffic was delayed and asked the same set of questions. Also, vehicles coming into Hertford on the B158 road at Horn’s Mill and the A414 road from Welwyn Garden City direction were cross-examined.

Mr N.A. Pain, officer in charge of the engineer and traffic section of Hertford County Council Highways department, who organised the survey, said “We want to find out every single thing about traffic movements in Hertford for all the town centre proposals. From our survey we will know the behaviour of long distance traffic and we are interested in what could have been put on a different road. We will also find out about East Coast holiday traffic on Saturday, and we are counting all traffic in Fore Street, so that we can see what relation traffic movements into the town bear with those in the town. A survey may also be taken on the north side of the town at a later date.”

Source of the information: Hertfordshire Mercury dated Friday 17 August 1962.


Compulsory Purchase Inquiry
In March 1963, the Ministry of Transport held a public inquiry into the proposed route of the Hertford Inner Relief Road and the objections raised to the compulsory purchase schedule for acquiring the parcels of land in order to build the bypass.  The Chairman of the inquiry presented a report that reached the following conclusions. They recommended that the Schedule to the Order should be confirmed.

The report concluded:

A: The need to modernise the through traffic facilities in Hertford is very strong. It is also vital that such facilities should be separated from the shopping centre; the proposed scheme for the Inner Relief Road will satisfactorily achieve both requirements on an alignment of virtually the same length as that by which such traffic – converging from several classified routes – no travels between east and west on route through the centre of the town. A dual carriageway layout is properly justified.

B: It is manifest from the exhibits handed in and from appendices 1-3 that the route selected is the results of the most careful and conscientious investigation of all relevant factors, including anxiety, which is fully appreciated, of responsible organisations that interference with scheduled buildings of which over 150 are extant in this historic town, should be kept to the absolute minimum.

C: I consider the Inquiry proceedings afforded clear evidence that with the exception of some claims for the route to be moved southwards at and near the Castle Street roundabout , the general tenor of the objectors’ representations supported the Hertford Inner Relief Road. Taking all factors into account, I am satisfied that the case for the movement of the route is not adequately justified.

D: After careful consideration, I am satisfied that the merits of this scheme are in the public interests to an extent which justifies the outstanding objection being met by compensation I so far as they refer to individual plots in the order schedule.

E: If and when the Hertford Inner Relief Road scheme proceeds to completion, I feel confident that the objectors will find therein a resolution of the present highly satisfactory traffic conditions in the central area of Hertford, which will be acclaimed a credit to those responsible for the design and execution and the justification to the acquisition of the land required for the fulfilment, as set out in the Schedule to the Order.

Source of the information is as follows: Ministry of Transport, St Christopher House, Southwark Street, London, SE1 dated 16 Dec 1963; Ref HL9/15/014.

This page was added on 27/03/2012.

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