How can we help

Message received Feb 27, 2024 – via Contact us form

Thank you for your latest e-news about Batchworth Bridge. I am so sorry to hear about another person being injured and hope that they have recovered.

I too witnessed an accident a couple of weeks ago, and as a regular user of the pedestrian crossing in the morning and evening most weekdays, I almost always encounter a scenario where the vehicles have not seen me and would run me over if I stepped out. Indeed, I often wave an arm or leg or even my bag to indicate that I am about to cross, only to find the vehicle would have taken it off if I had proceeded. Also, if the lane nearest to me does stop, it is quite likely that the far lane won’t. So, back to the accident I saw a couple of weeks ago, a car did stop on the far lane. However, it had to stop so suddenly that the car behind it went into the back of it. Luckily no one was hurt. I have though seen an ambulance at another incident involving a pedestrian a year or so ago, and the road had to be completely closed. It is therefore only a matter of time before there will be a fatality if there hasn’t been one already.

I would say it is clear that a zebra crossing is insufficient and that a pelican or puffin crossing with traffic lights is required. Many vehicles are going much faster than 30mph, and it would make sense to have speed cameras. Vehicles are regularly doing 50mph along the lower Batchworth Hill section of London Road where the speed limit is also 30mph, and drivers similarly speed along Church Street where the bridge is and into Harefield Road.

Having to cross Harefield Road next to the White Bear Pub, which is a little way from the bridge and near to where the bus stops are, is just as dangerous. It is a blind corner so pedestrians cannot see an approaching vehicle and vice-versa. So, a pelican or puffin crossing with traffic lights around the corner is also required here in my opinion and it would make sense to address this together with Batchworth Bridge. Again, vehicles are travelling very fast and for someone with less mobility, it simply is not possible to cross the road safely.

I thus fully support the RDRA’s warnings and campaigns, and if you need a volunteer for monitoring speeds, I would be happy to assist.

Crossing comments

Three messages received Feb 25, 2024 – via Contact us form

Message 1:
I use the Batchworth Bridge crossing frequently and have no problem. I stop, check for oncoming traffic and only cross when it is safe to do so. Don’t blame the council, blame those who do not take responsibility for their own safety.

RDRA response:

Like you I use this crossing at least twice a day everyday and on some days more times than that as I live just off Harefield Road. I agree with you entirely that we are all responsible for our own safety and should always be aware of and be responsible how we negotiate our way in traffic  

However for those who are either very young or old and some other vulnerable or disabled people,( we’ve had a few near misses) this crossing can be made safer.

Let’s accept that this crossing can be improved and made more safer for all users. It’s not asking a lot to make some minor improvements. We do not need a fatality to do some common sense improvements. I do also accept that most county and local councils are overwhelmed and overstretched with limited resources so it’s not a priority until a major accident and fatalities occur.

Message 2:
We have lived in Rickmansworth for 39 years and I have lost count of the number of times pedestrians have been hit on Batchworth bridge. I think it’s time to up the ante. Get the BBC South East news out to the scene and have our MP and County Councillor down to be interviewed at the bridge. Have Watford Observer report on this. Get an interview and phone in arranged with 3 Counties Radio. They do push local issues. You only have a few weeks before HCC shut down on all activities in the run up to the local elections.

RDRA response:

Many thanks for your email. I agree with you that this crossing should be made safer. However, I believe that we will not get any media attention unless there is a fatality there. We do our best to lobby the relevant authorities. We’d appreciate if you have any contacts that you might be able to tap to raise the awareness and expedite the process for getting some positive responses from our county and district leaders.

Message 3:
My husband and I regularly have to use the crossing and every single time we approach with apprehension, having had many “near misses” over the 30yrs we have lived here, with cars not stopping .one lane will stop and a car in the other lane will not. We always stand as near the edge as poss to be as visible as we can.

If we reach the other side with no problems we are greatly relieved . The cars seem to accelerate from the traffic lights on one side or the roundabout from the other. Being a dual carriageway the drivers seem to think they can drive more quickly and are reluctant to stop for a crossing.

We have lived here for nearly 30th and this crossing has always been contentious and we do appreciate the efforts put in to try and improve safety but we cannot wait until the inevitable fatality,it’s a miracle it hasn’t happened already.

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Message replying to RDRA X post:
A group of people, many of whom were involved in the Rickmansworth Festival, decided that a much smaller event could be held this year, after all the hard work of Rickmansworth Waterways Trust over the past 30 years. Read more:

Message received Feb 19, 2024 – via X (Twitter):
Seems to be behind a firewall?

RDRA response:
You can either join the RDRA (Rickmansworth & District Residents’ Association) for £3 pa:
Or join RDRA 100+ Club monthly prize draw for £5, which includes membership to the Association:

Accident discussion

Messages replying to RDRA X (Twitter) post:
Another accident today on Batchworth Bridge early this morning when it was still dark. Pedestrians with dark clothing cannot be seen by drivers! We have listed on our website what the RDRA tried to do over the years to make the bridge safer:

Message received Feb 22, 2024 – via X (Twitter):
As a driver it can be quite alarming how difficult it is to see pedestrians here. And as a walker, there seems to be an increasing tendency for drivers to plough on over the crossings even when people are on them.

Message received Feb 23, 2024 – via X (Twitter):
use crossing poles that also light up for extra safety. Why not try these @hertscc

Dangerous crossing on the bridge

Message received Feb 22, 2024 – via Contact us form

Anne Littlejohn asked me to contact you regarding a post I made on facebook warning others about the accident early Wednesday morning on Batchworth Bridge. Please send a whatsapp phone number and I will screenshot the post and all the comments on the post confirming how dangerous the crossing on the bridge is. I drive over it three mornings a week returning from a night shift and can confirm when it is dark it is virtually impossible to see pedestrians until they are on the crossing. I slow right down knowing this to be the case but if you dont realise this it is very very dangerous

RDRA response:

Many thanks for your email. My contact details as below.

Pedestrian information

Message received Feb 21, 2024 – via Contact us form

Following on from facebook post of an accident on 21/2 . I can provide further information. It was 06:30 dark & the pedestrian was in dark clothes and could not be see.

RDRA response:

Many thanks for letting us know about the accident on the Batchworth bridge crossing at 6:30am today. Do you have any photos of the incident that we can share with our councillors to make them aware of the incident. We have been pressing the council to make this bridge crossing safe with better lighting generally and also install a pedestrian crossing lights. We appreciate your assistance.

Empty retail units

Message received Feb 11, 2024 – via Contact us form

I’m keen to find out about activity around the empty retail units on the High Street. I’d love to see at least one of them turned into a community space. Maybe this is something I can develop. I’d love to know of any existing plans like this. Many thanks.

RDRA response:

I agree with your sentiments about vacant units in the high st. RDRA would support you in your endeavour to turn these into productive community spaces/projects.

We however have no control or have any influence with the individual landlords or their agents. You’d have to approach them directly and negotiate with them to get them to agree to what you want to do. 

Wine tasting?

Message received Feb 8, 2024 – via Contact us form

Please can you <tell> me more about the jazz cheese and wine night please and also is it wine tasting?

RDRA response:

Many thanks for your enquiry about the wine and cheese tasting with jazz event.

Yes it is a tasting event, you will be able to taste various wines and cheeses from different regions. At this moment, the exhibitors have not yet finalised what they are planning to bring on the night. We’ll update this information as soon as possible.

In the background, John Donegal with two other players will play jazz music. John has performed for the Three Rivers music society on numerous occasions. John is a local pianist and composer with national and international reputation.

We look forward to seeing you at the event on 21 March.

Aquadrome a ‘no dig’ zone

Message received Jan 3, 2024 – via Email

Is the Association aware of the council’s decision to make the Aquadrome a ‘no dig’ zone, due to apparent (and, if justified, very belated) concerns about asbestos in the ground?This has already forced the cancellation of this year’s Rickmansworth Festival, with a significant impact on the finances of the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust. It would also seem to imply severe restrictions on other uses of the Aquadrome.The councillors I’ve spoken with were not aware of the council’s decision until it had already been made public, which makes it sound like it was taken without proper consultation or consideration.Does the RDRA have any views on this? And, if so, will we be asking the council to review/explain their decision, in the light of its emerging consequences.

RDRA response:

Many thanks for your email of 3rd Jan. My apologies for the delayed response. As you can imagine this came as a shock to all of us and the last thing to do would be to give a ‘knee jerk reaction’. Of course we are all bitterly disappointed that this much cherished Ricky community event is now not happening. Now we have more information at hand, we are able to formulate a view and response. There’s nothing at this stage that anyone can do to save this year’s festival. TRDC and ALL our Councillors know our feelings. It’s an unmitigated disaster and a massive own goal in PR terms. There’s a meeting on the 31st at the RWT, Batchworth Lock which will be on Zoom. (Details from RWT to follow.) We will hopefully find out what happens next and if we are able to save the festival from 2025 onwards.

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