A new permanent pedestrian crossing is to be installed on Watford ring road.

Hertfordshire County Council will spend up to two weeks constructing a crossing where the ring road meets Clarendon Road.

Watford county councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst says the crossing will make the area safer for people - in particular helping children at St John's Church of England Primary School.

The work will begin on Monday October 26 and last until November 8.

Construction will only take place during the evening or overnight and a lane closure will be in place only while work is ongoing.

Funding for the new crossing has been secured after the project was given the go-ahead in September 2019, following a trial which saw traffic lights in the area rephased.

Initially, when the council rephased the traffic lights to see what impact a new crossing would have on traffic, there were significant delays on Watford ring road and surrounding streets.

Watford Observer:

Stationary traffic on the ring road near King Street last year as a consequence of the traffic light trial which took place

It was because drivers on the ring road were spending more time waiting for the lights to change at the Clarendon Road junction.

Well aware of the problems the idea of a new crossing was causing, the council rejigged the traffic light controls several times, eventually finding a pattern that ensured Watford town centre did not grind to a halt.

The traffic lights have remained on the same pattern since the trial came to an end last year.

Currently, pedestrians can only cross the ring road safely on one side of Clarendon Road.

But some fences on the side of Watford Palace Theatre will be removed, and signals introduced, allowing pedestrians to cross safely.

Cllr Giles-Medhurst said: "This will be an improvement for pedestrians, especially for school children to St John's and those coming from Watford Junction on the theatre side.

"Also, the traffic island in Clarendon Road itself will not be congested with people waiting to cross, helping social distancing."

Councillor Phil Bibby, cabinet member for highways said last year while the trial was still ongoing: "A detailed design process is underway for a second crossing to be introduced at the junction after a trial highlighted that pedestrians (especially schoolchildren) were finding it difficult to cross the road within the designated time.

"The timings have been extended in the interim to give them an additional few seconds to cross.

"The principle of having a second crossing is in line with Hertfordshire County Council’s objectives to give pedestrians priority as part of the local transport plan."