The county council says it will not reinstate a subway which was filled in under Watford ring road.

This is despite continued delays on the ring road as the result of new traffic light timings at Clarendon Road.

On Saturday, the town centre was gridlocked, with standstill traffic from Bushey Arches, along Waterfields Way, and onto the ring road to Clarendon Road, for a number of hours - and this was with Watford FC playing away from home too.

Watford Observer:

Heavy traffic in Watford town centre on Saturday

It is not the first time the town has ground to a halt since the new timings were brought in with morning rush hour hit by delays almost everyday.

The council ran a trial over the summer to see how traffic would be affected by the introduction of a second crossing on the ring road at Clarendon Road, due to an increased number of pedestrians crossing and a new primary school opening.

Read more about the second pedestrian crossing here

Council officers found that pedestrians did not have enough time to complete a two-stage crossing, so the lights have been amended and traffic on the ring road now has to wait that little bit longer.

Motorists have become increasingly frustrated.

Catherine Baldwin, who lives in Watford, said: "The county council says traffic flow, particularly during rush hour, 'will inevitably fall' as alternative methods of transport are chosen such as walking, cycling, or using public transport.

"Why would this happen when no improvements have been made to public transport?

"When do they think this might happen. This year, next year, in ten years? In the meantime, the traffic chaos is damaging for the town, and damaging for the environment.

"What should have happened was improvements to the subways - I cannot fathom how the planners didn't foresee this issue - or maybe they don't live in Watford."

Mark Lowens said: "The traffic is at a standstill because of the lights at the back of the market and top of Clarendon Road. They were perfectly okay before our stupid council decided to change them. The council are solely responsible for this traffic."

Jo Stone said: "I don't live in Watford anymore but wasn't there a perfectly good underpass there? Reinstate that, invest more in public transport and make it cheaper for people to travel by bus and perhaps less people will use their cars."

And Steven Holley suggested: "The sensible option of course would be to put up a walkover bridge at the junction. Could do the same at the Dome and take away the lights completely. "Traffic flows and pedestrians are safe."

But the county council says it will not consider a bridge or reinstating the subway at the ring road because that type of infrastructure is "not in keeping with encouraging more people to walk or cycle in the town".

A county council spokesperson added: "We are aware of the delays experienced on Saturday and will be making further adjustments to the signal timings this week to aim to reduce delays to traffic travelling around the ring road."

Ironically, the traffic lights where the ring road and Beechen Grove meet, and at Clarendon Road, were completely out yesterday at around 6pm, and as a result, left the area unusually quiet for that time of evening.

Watford Observer:

This was the scene on the ring road at 6pm yesterday. It normally takes a couple of phases to get through this junction but when the lights were out, there were no queues at all in Beechen Grove or on the ring road approaching the junction. But pedestrians were struggling to cross safely at Clarendon Road.