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Updated Friday 13th April 2001
Town Centre Enhancement Scheme
Market Street Re-Opens

Market Street has re-opened to traffic after a month long closure for major enhancement work costing £90,000.

Restrictions were imposed on traffic flow in the town centre from 14th March to allow the construction of a speed table adjacent to Barclays Bank, repaving, the widening of pavements and installation of protective railings. It is hoped that the measures will increase pedestrian safety and reduce the number of vehicles stopping on the corner of Market Street and Railway Street to use the cash machines at the bank.

The work is being jointly funded by Barclays Bank and East Herts District Council and will also include repairs to previously enhanced areas of the town.

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Fore Street Repairs 1999

In September 1999, repairs were made to the first phase of the Town Enhancement Scheme. The Western end of Fore Steet closed for four weeks after serious deterioration of the materials used during the initial implementation in 1994 at a cost of £147,000. At that time the contractor was criticised for the poor quality of work and has since been removed from the authorities list of approved contractors.

Enhancement? Enhancement?
Poor workmanship led to the early deterioration of surfaces

The £40,000 repairs were criticised because they meant yet another closure for the street. The Mayor of Hertford, Colin Harris, also claimed that a lack of routine maintenance and underfunding were responsible for the poor state of the road.

In 1995 minor repairs were carried out after cable-laying damaged some of the surfaces. Heavy vehicles also caused damage to road humps.

Background

In the early 1990's, like many towns, Hertford embarked on a Town Enhancement Scheme to improve the attraction of the town. This started around The Shire Hall and later took in Parliament Square and the western end of Railway Street. However, the scheme ground to a halt, with the local authority saying at one stage that it did not have the finances to maintain the existing enhancements. It is also lamentable that the utilities have carried out minor works within the enhancement area and not replaced the expensive York paving stones, using instead cheap tarmac. In fact the Eastern end of Fore Street (not within the current enhancement area) is a patchwork of different surfaces and a gift to anyone with an I-Spy book of pavements!

In the mid-nineties an experimental traffic scheme was implemented in the town centre. Although the scheme has been permanently adopted on a de facto basis, much of the temporary work remains in place. Problems in town centre traffic management remain though, much of it connected with parking.

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