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Motorists could face fines if they use new Watford Health Campus link road
Motorists could face fines for trying to use the new link road to Watford General Hospital without an approved reason.
Watford’s MP has criticised council plans to prevent residents from using the new taxpayer-funded road, between Dalton Way and Watford General.
The new road is due to serve the hospital and 700-home development planned for the regeneration of the area behind Vicarage Road.
Conservative Richard Harrington is mounting a campaign against proposals, which could see automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras installed along the new road.
Drivers caught using the road for a non-health campus purpose, by setting off all the cameras, could be fined.
As well as blue light services, the road will also be used by other hospital non-emergency traffic, residents, businesses and associated services located on the Watford Health Campus.
He said: "They (Watford Borough Council) say that an eye will be kept on the road to see if improvements are needed, but we all know that improvements are needed now to alleviate congestions at Bushey Arches, on the Ring Road and in West Watford - if we have the chance to do this now then we should.
"Yes the road will help alleviate pressure and improve hospital access which I fully support, but it could do so much more.
"I accept this may mean some further work, for example there has been some additional excavation into the redundant railway embankment, but the benefits could be really significant for local people."
Watford Borough Council said that the main goal of the road has been to improve access to the hospital, particularly for emergency vehicles.
Peter Nelson, Watford Health Campus spokesman, said: "The primary purpose of the new road has always been to improve access to Watford Hospital, particularly for emergency vehicles. This has been clear since it was given the go-ahead in 2007 and was also made clear in the planning application that was submitted in 2013."
Mr Nelson added: "Allowing unlimited access to the road would simply cause congestion and compromise the response times for emergency vehicles."
He said that further congestion will be alleviated as, by building the road, the main entrance to the hospital would be relocated to the south of the building, improving traffic in Wiggenhall Road and Vicarage Road.
Mr Harrington is lobbying for turns to be added to the stretch where it crosses Wiggenhall Road, so that residents coming from Oxhey could turn right and access the M1, thereby bypassing Bushey Arches altogether.
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