The Relief Road
The Hertford Relief Road was constructed in the early 1960s as a solution to traffic flow problems that had existed in the town for many years.
Before the road was constructed, traffic from all directions converged on the town centre causing great congestion and a solution had to be found. That solution was one of the largest ever projects to impact the town. A dual carriageway was driven through the heart of the town, destroying many of it's old buildings and changing it's character forever. Not even the town's graveyard was spared, a source of some controversy at the time as victims of The Plague were buried there and had to be relocated.
Since the construction of the relief road, traffic levels have increased - so much so that some motorists now use the town centre to bypass congestion on the relief road! The situation has not been helped by the fact that the A414, of which the relief road is a part - offers an outer alternative the the London Orbital Motorway - the M25 - especially if there is a major incident on the Northern sectors of the motorway.
In the 1990's, a Hertford bypass was proposed to aleviate these problems but this was eventually rejected by the local authorities and residents on enviromental grounds. However, the long-term problems remain and various schemes to tackle the issue have fallen by the wayside through lack of support and uncertainty about the future of transport policy at the highest levels.