'Sheer chaos' - residents slam market traffic mayhem in Bovingdon

Residents were left "trapped" in their homes after roads in Bovingdon were clogged with heavy traffic for the village market last weekend.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 4:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 4:41 pm

The Bovingdon Market, in Bovingdon Airfield, Chesham Road, is held every Saturday and boasts up to 400 shopping stalls.

But villagers claim the popular event has been causing a myriad of problems for them in recent weeks.

Despite several complaints to Dacorum Borough Council about the severe traffic congestion in the area, residents say the problem only got worse this Saturday.

One villager, speaking to the Gazette, said: "It is making our lives a misery and trapping us in our own homes.

"One of my sons trains as a trampolinist at the sports centre, on a Saturday, it is a nightmare getting him there. A journey of 10 minutes can take upwards of 50.

"Another of my sons needed to get from my parents’ house at the bottom of Box Lane to home in Bovingdon, it again took 50 minutes, this Saturday, nearly making him late for work."

She added that cars are being "virtually abandoned" on side roads and buses are not being able to complete their journeys on time.

"With the way some cars had parked I only hope and pray there isn't an emergency that needs to be attended," she said.

"The market brings nothing into the village except traffic, detritus and frustration."

There have even been reports of people throwing "used nappies" onto driveways and urinating in public view.

A Dacorum Borough Council spokesman said it had adopted a multi-agency approach with Hertfordshire Highways and Police to address residents' concerns.

"As part of initial actions to address contributing factors, our planning enforcement team has issued a breach of condition notice on the operators of Bovingdon Market. This relates to the use of the Chesham Road entrance and exit only for customers of the market," they said.

"Due to legislative constraints, this notice takes effect from January 2, 2020. Additionally, a Community Protection Warning has been issued, which outlines what measures the market operators are expected to implement to address a number of parking and littering issues in the immediate area."

Partners have already had a number of meetings with the market operators and are encouraging engagement with relevant statutory agencies to improve the situation.

Inspector Scott from Hertfordshire Police said: “We appreciate that traffic and parking issues can be a great source of stress to residents, so I would like to reassure them that we are dedicated to working closely with our partners to alleviate this issue in Bovingdon through a multi-agency approach.”