Campaigners are celebrating as a “dangerous” junction is set to receive a share of a £4.6 million fund for safety improvements.

After “at least three cyclists” were hit by cars within a year at the junction of Water Lane and Lower High Street, in Watford, cyclists' group Spokes had called for change.

Funding for the junction has now been confirmed after Hertfordshire County Council was awarded £4.6 million by Active Travel England to deliver walking and cycling projects.

There will be a widened footway to slow down traffic, a wider cycle lane delivered by moving the traffic island, and more barriers shielding the cycle lane.

Widening the footway is also aimed at improving crossing safety for pedestrians.

Describing the group’s safety fears, Spokes chair Peter Jackson said: “We know of at least three cyclists being hit by cars there and numerous near misses.

Watford Observer: Cllrs Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Aga Dychton and Rabi Martin at the current junctionCllrs Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Aga Dychton and Rabi Martin at the current junction (Image: Cllrs Stephen Giles-Medhurst)

“We have observed that 90% of drivers turning from Water Lane to go up the High Street towards King Street do not stop at the stop line or look right before emerging.”

Locals had previously been consulted on changes for the junction. The plan received public support, according to Liberal Democrat county councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst who campaigned for the improvements with Spokes.

Watford Observer: Cyclists using the Water Lane/Lower High Street junctionCyclists using the Water Lane/Lower High Street junction (Image: Stephen Giles-Medhurst)

He said: “It's been a long battle, firstly to convince the county of the need to change the junction and now to get the funding but we are almost there.

“I am pleased that persistence has paid off.”

The funding was confirmed in May and follows other projects that are ongoing or complete after previous rounds of Active Travel finding across the county, including in Wiggenhall Road in Watford.

A Hertfordshire County Council spokesperson said: “The county council was successful in receiving £4.6m in May 2023 to implement a number of walking and cycling schemes across the county from the Active Travel Fund managed by Active Travel England.

“In Watford this includes a scheme in High Street at the junction with Water Lane to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We will provide a further update on when the works will take place in the coming weeks as we confirm our programme.”