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Yet another crash renews calls for Woodmere Avenue width restriction to be altered
A serious crash at a controversial north Watford width restriction, which left a young woman trapped and hysterical in her car, has prompted renewed calls for it to be altered.
Firefighters had to cut the top off the red Renault Clio to free a 24-year-old woman after it became wedged in the bollards in Woodmere Avenue on Wednesday morning.
The young female motorist was complaining of neck and back pain after the accident and was later taken to Watford General Hospital.
Barry Felton, a Woodmere Avenue resident who lives next to the restriction, came out to help when he heard the Renault smash into the bollards.
He said: "The girl was crying and hysterical, I felt so sorry for her. She was trapped and I could not force the doors open. When she started to complain about her back and neck I told her to stay upright."
The accident is one of the more serious recent incidents to happen at contentious width restriction, which has seen scores of vehicles damaged since it was made narrower in February last year.
Hertfordshire County Council was taken to court by one motorist last year who unsuccessfully tried to sue the authority for the damage the width restriction did to his vehicle.
Residents in the road have made repeated calls for the traffic calming measure to be modified to stem the frequent accidents. Highways bosses have painted extra road markings to guide drivers but refused to make substantial changes to the restriction.
Mr Felton, a 66-year-old retired driving instructor, said there were still regular accidents there including one recently involving a car containing a six-month-old baby.
He called on the county council to remove some of the bollards for the restriction to make it less hazardous.
He said: "Why do they want to see people’s vehicles smashed to smithereens? They are determined not to take it out. If they take it out they will be accepting liability.
"If they take eight poles out, people could get through it without damage. It is just senseless. It is utterly criminal that damage is being done."
Mr Felton added that Woodmere Avenue residents were also having their cars damaged by vehicles turning around in the road to avoid the restriction.
Following the latest crash, Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who sits on the town’s highways panel, said were no plans to alter the width restriction.
He said the number of accidents and complaints had slowed down since it was first altered.
Councillor Giles-Medhurst added: "There were quite a few complaints in the beginning when people were not judging the width of their vehicles. But when I have been down there I have followed transit vans that have gone through without any problem.
"I have a slightly wider car and have to go through slowly, but that is the reason for a width restriction."
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