Kings Langley businesses have hit out at the traffic "chaos" caused by an error from Hertfordshire County Council

Eye witnesses in the High Street described seeing tailbacks as far back as the M25 on Monday, August 18 and said that it was "hell" due to roadworks in the village.

On Monday, work briefly started on connecting gas to the new housing development in Saracen Mews and in July, work began on a new roundabout in Lower Road, Nash Mills, meaning that Red Lion Lane - one of the major roads out of the village - will be closed until the end of August.

However, Andrew Dawson, press officer for Hertfordshire County Council blamed temporary traffic lights that were "granted in error" to allow the gas to be connected to the properties behind the Saracens Head. 

He said: "The permit for the works on Kings Langley High Street were granted in error as these works were on the diversion for the Red Lion Lane/Lower Road works (construction of new roundabout) which has been ongoing since the end of July  and is due to be complete by 31st August.

"As soon as we realised the problem at approximately 10.30am on Monday, the permit was revoked and the lights cleared within two hours. The works on Kings Langley High Street will be rescheduled after the Red Lion Lane/Lower Road works have been completed."

The work to connect gas to the properties in Saracen Mews has now been postponed until the new roundabout is constructed.  

Sue Hawkins, owner of Design Workshop, High Street, contacted Hertfordshire County Council about the traffic problems, which she described as "total chaos."

She said: "The traffic was total chaos. People were tooting their horns. It is bad enough some of the time anyway, because of the whole parking situation.

"Quite a lot of the businesses have been really quiet."

Work on the roundabout in Nash Mills is expected to finish next Sunday. 

Marilyn Evans, owner of Design Wardrobe, High Street, said: "To do it at the same time as this is ridiculous because there is so much congestion all the way along the High Street.

"It does affect businesses because people can’t park. If people can’t park near independent shops, they just move on. 

"I can’t understand why it [the work in Nash Mills] would take five or six weeks. It just seems an awfully long time to create a roundabout."

Alex Roberts, 28, who regularly uses the road said: "I go to play gold at Shendish Manor Golf Course, in Hemel Hempstead. I have paid my membership and I cannot get up there to play.

Mr Dawson added: "We aim to keep disruption to a minimum, and this can include scheduling major works during summer holidays when there is less traffic. We consider places of work and leisure when the works are planned. However some exceptional works require traffic management during peak times.

"We understand that roadworks are likely to cause a degree of inconvenience. We apologise for this and would ask everyone for their co-operation while the work is in progress."