Tower block plans ‘will increase traffic’

An artist's impression of the proposed site for Symbio House in Whiteleaf Road, off London Road in Hemel Hempstead

An artist's impression of the proposed site for Symbio House in Whiteleaf Road, off London Road in Hemel Hempstead

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Developers hoping to build 208 new flats on a major junction in Hemel town centre have admitted that the traffic is already close to ‘saturation’.

Corona Properties commissioned a transport assessment for the planned Symbio House development on Whiteleaf Road – of which 73 flats will be affordable homes – next door to the Aldi supermarket on London Road.

At peak hours, the report says, London Road already exceeds 90 per cent of its ‘practical reserve capacity’ between 8am and 9am.

The report states: “It is clear that the addition of traffic created by the proposed development will impact the junction’s operation in terms of capacity, with two junction arms recording degree saturation values increasing between the 90 per cent and 100 per cent threshold band.”

Developers reckon 80 per cent of the demographic of those living in the tower block will be professionals, many attracted by the ‘approximately 20 minute commute’ into London.

The other 15 per cent will be elderly people, and the final five per cent young families.

Corona Properties say they will stump up £20,000 to Herts County Council to pay for a traffic lights signalling systems to help keep vehicles flowing on London Road.

There would also be a high-tech Automated Parking System (APS) as part of the flats’ design.

It is estimated that elderly residents will take three minutes to park their car with APS, families four minutes, and professionals just 60 seconds.

According to the report, there is also evidence that older drivers avoid travelling at rush hour or in the dark.

Meanwhile, it says families making ‘leisure trips’ are ‘likely to be undertaken when the highway network is less congested’.

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