As of today 26 May 2020, Herts County Council has launched “Social Distancing in the Highway” a public health-related initiative. Key high street roads in the town centre will be closed for cars, and some key roads will have parking restrictions imposed.
Hatfield road, from calereance park to fleetville gardens will see all parking bays suspended.
The main reason for the initiative is to facilitate social distancing where current pavement width simply does not allow this.
This will no doubt affect the residents and shoppers who rely on the shops on Hatfeild road for their essential Halal & Asian food shopping that is not readily available anywhere else in St Albans including the larger supermarket chains.
The impact on the small businesses is already visible. Taher, owner of Medina General Stores says “we have seen an effect on our business already, footfall has been extremely low today and now doubt it will impact us in the weeks to come. We had now forewarning from the council about the plans. We only found out this morning when workmen put out the bollards. We don’t know how long this will be in place for.”
Abdul Kaher of Asian Food Stores on Hatfield is extremely concerned about the parking suspension. ” I understand the social distancing and protecting the community but I don’t think the plan has been well thought through. We were not consulted or told about the planned parking suspension, which means also means we can not take deliveries in for our store. I have been trying to get the council on the phone but have not been able to get a straight answer, this will have a major negative affect on the business, my customers and the local residents.”
For now the planned suspensions and closures are a test, but HCC have not specified how long the test phase will last.
Sarwar Shamsher, Local resident and an Member of the Islamic Centre & Jamia Mosque on Hatfeild road says ” I think we can support the parking restrictions for the moment but a wider discussions with the local businesses and places of worship needs to take place, if it’s in place for a longer period of time. Once the mosques open it will inconvenience the attendees and the local residents as a result of not being able to park near the mosques or shops.
Hertfordshire County Council are testimg the scheme and my add furtther roads to the scheme later.
Local Businessman and owner of Al Barak Mini Market, Bessam Barka Says ” I was not aware of the road closures, and feel let down by the council. I dont think they thought about the impact this will have on my business. it will be difficult, but we will have to wait and see how badly it will affect us.
The three current SADC A-List locations are:
Harpenden: Bowers Parade (Vaughan Road to no. 37 Bowers Parade) – on-street parking bay closures, for length of Bowers Parade.
St Albans Town Centre: George Street, High Street and Market Place/City Centre – road closures, to pedestrianise city centre roads.
Hatfield Road: (Sutton Road Roundabout to Clarence Road) – closure of on-street parking outside shops.
While plans are being drawn up to support businesses in the centre of town we wait to find out if those on Hatfeild road will be included in the plans.
If you want to voice your views please contact one of the following responsible for the area.
Councillor Danny Clare – firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 07414 585888
Councillor Josie Madoc – email@example.com Mob: 07854 338576
Councillor Chris White – firstname.lastname@example.org – 01727 845300
HCC County Councillor
Councillor Sandy Walkington – email@example.com – Mob: 07802 177317
While the following Councillors are not responsible for the area they are integral to the community of Hatfield road:
Councillor Syed Abidi firstname.lastname@example.org -07980 323673
Councillor M Iqbal Zia – email@example.com – 01727 835654
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