Dozens of motorists say "nightmare tailbacks" caused by stop-start traffic at Watford’s Dome Roundabout has dramatically improved since the lights were switched off as part of works to aid cyclists.

Hertfordshire County Council is installing additional cycle lanes and changing the traffic signals to include a phase for cyclists at the roundabout, with the lights due to be back up and working again on March 30.

But regular users of the roundabout say the removal of the lights has improved traffic flow.

Jan Hickman, who uses the roundabout to get to work, said her travel time has been significantly shortened.

She said: "I have found the St Albans Road leading from north Watford to the Dome has flowed without the traffic hold-ups since the lights have been removed. This is particularly apparent when travelling home from work at 5.15pm.

"Previously the hold-ups would occur from just passed the bottom of The Harebreaks up to the lights at McDonalds just prior to the Bushey Mill Lane traffic lights and it could take about 20 minutes to get from those lights to the Dome Roundabout.

"There would also be hold-ups resulting from the lights at the Dome along other roads such as Longsprings, Bushey Mill Lane and Cherry Tree Road. Now I and other motorists sail through and I notice that all roads mentioned do not have the long line of cars sitting and waiting to move a few yards."

Mrs Hickman said she had noticed similar improvements during the morning rush-hour approaching the roundabout from Garston.

She continued: "Surely for the few cyclists who use the roundabout in relation to the number of cars using it, it is unnecessary to cause north Watford to be gridlocked by placing even more traffic lights.

"I wonder how much is this going to cost the council to do the works and has anybody from the council been to the Dome roundabout since the removal of the lights to see what affect it has caused?"

And now dozens of people have signed a petition to keep the lights out permanently.

One signee, Jennifer Mellors, said: "Lights are a nightmare better off without them."

Sarah Meathrel said: "Since they haven’t been on traffic is flowing faster and the morning and evening rush hour traffic is not causing massive tailbacks. Remove the traffic lights."

Cab driver Paul Kngsley, who also signed the petition, said: "Can’t believe you would put lights back seeing how the traffic flows without them."

While Sandra Anderson commented: "I can’t believe how easy and free flow the traffic was yesterday. So much easier than stopping and starting."

In a statement, the council said: "We are currently upgrading the existing signals on the Dome Roundabout as part of our works to improve cycle routes around Watford.

"While the signals are switched off there are alternative crossing points for pedestrians either on St Albans Road near the fire station or by Spring Gardens on the opposite approach.

"There are also alternatives on the A41 at the Asda and Sainsbury’s junction and we have also provided a temporary crossing on the eastern approach to the Dome Roundabout."

To view the petition visit