As part of the Hitchin Urban Transport Plan (UTP), a study was also commissioned to investigate the appropriate set of mitigation measures at the junction of Cadwell Lane/Grove Road/ Woolgrove Road/ Wilbury Way to address a number of existing problems as well as those brought about by future development in the area. This junction provides the only access point to a number of major local employers on the industrial estate off Cadwell Lane and Wilbury Way and is surrounded by residential properties on all sides. The presence of employment in the area means a number of heavy goods vehicles use the junction which causes some issues with the constrained geometry of the junction, and consequently its capacity, along with some environmental concerns relating to noise. Pedestrian Access A study was also undertaken in 2010/11 to upgrade the junction for cycle and pedestrian use and given the limitation of space for a dedicated cycle lane, it was recommended this not be pursued and the junction be upgraded for pedestrian facilities on each arm of the junction. This is currently being progressed with the intention to be constructed in 2012/13. Whilst the proposed scheme does not resolve all issues at the junction it demonstrates a significant improvement for pedestrian movements and can be delivered relatively cost effectively as it can be implemented within the existing road space. Ideally being able to widen some sections of the footpath at the junction would be of great benefit and this will be investigated as apossibility as part of the scheme design. Any improvement in capacity provided by optimisation of the signals could potentially be offset by increased pedestrian activity around the junction, meaning the affect on the highway capacity of the junction is likely to be neutral. Link Road/Temporary Road Testing of the issues and solutions has been undertaken in the Stevenage and Hitchin Urban Transport Model (SHUM). This is a highway based transport model which simulates the impact and response of drivers to changes in the transport network. This provides a robust assessment on which decisions can be made and could potentially, if required, support a funding bid for the proposals. Further to this and given the requirement to understand the detailed operation of the Cadwell Lane/ Wilbury Wayjunction a detailed junction model was also developed in some specialist software called LINSIG. This used the traffic flows from the SHUM model but enables detailed proposals to be tested. The impact of implementing a new link road between Cadwell Lane and Wilbury Way on the whole appears to be negative, with an increase in delay and congestion on the Cadwell Lane and Grove Road turning movements in the morning, and Cadwell Lane in the evening. A new link road between Stotfold Road and Cadwell Lane and Wilbury Way has been assessed but this does not yield any significant benefits to the junction, with more delay and congestion in the morning peak and Cadwell Lane experiencing a significant increase in delay in the evening. It may be possible to improve the performance of the junction by delivering large scale improvements, possibly outside of the current highway boundary. Particular movements that may be improved are the Cadwell Lane approach, currently a single lane at the stopline and the Wilbury Way to Woolgrove Road turn. An un-opposed left filter lane from Wilbury Way to Woolgrove Road would relieve delay for this movement but it may require widening of Woolgrove Road and Wilbury Way. The model testing has been done up to the year 2014, with consideration of committed development proposals. Initial model testing to 2031 on the now revokedRegional Spatial Strategy indicated the following: ? Junction modelling showed that the junction is currently operating within its theoretical capacity. ? The future year modelling for 2031 shows that junction performance is predicted to deteriorate significantly such that the theoretical capacity of the junction would be exceeded. ? There is insufficient manoeuvring space at the junction for HGV’s to turn without affecting other road users. ? A number of options involving the construction of a new link road to the north of the industrial area have been considered. These options are associated with the Network Rail East Coast Mainline Grade Separation Scheme which would result in a new rail line to the north of the Cadwell Lane industrial area. Such major improvements could facilitate the removal of Cadwell Lane and Wilbury Way bound HGV’s from the junction. The best option, in terms of reducing HGV’s through the junction would be a new link road connecting Cadwell Lane and Wilbury Way to Stotfold Lane, although this would have to be supported by an HGV ban. The estimated cost of such a link road would be £8m to £12m, ? A new link road to the south of the proposed rail alignment could offer potential benefits in promoting rail served development opportunities or relocation of the existing rail interchange facilities. ? A further alternative scheme would involve a combination of turning bans for HGV’s at the junction whilst connecting Cadwell Lane and Wilbury Way within the Industrial Estate. The estimated cost of this scheme would be approximately £3m although benefits, in terms of reducing HGV’s through the junction, would be significantly less than for the more extensive new link roadscheme. ? Any scheme would involve re-routing of HGV’s and further investigation of associated issues would be required. ? As part of their proposals for the rail grade separation scheme, Network Rail propose to construct a temporary haul road to the north of the new rail alignment. The haul road would certainly not be suitable for long term use or adoption and additional cost would be involved in removing the haul road should it be replaced with a permanent construction. ? The expected tipping point for the existing junction would be within 5 years (2012 for the AM and 2013 for the PM peaks, although this is based on base year transport model developed in 2008), this would see the junction at capacity (Practical Reserve Capacity of 0) with no means to accommodate additional traffic volumes. ? The introduction of the new link road and HGV ban shows improvements at the junction, with an expected tipping point in 2022 for the PM peak. The overall conclusion is that a permanent solution to the perceived issues of HGV’s travelling through the Cadwell Lane/Wilbury Lane junction would be very costly and difficult to justify economically. Such a scheme could however offer development opportunities which could off set these costs. Smaller scale schemes could help to alleviate some of the issues likely to be causing concern but would require enforcement of turning bans and/or routing agreements in order to maximise benefits. Any scheme resulting in a measurable benefit would result in the re-routing of HGV traffic which may present difficulties elsewhere. Initial testing in the strategic transport model has indicated that the introduction of a link road between the Industrial Estate and Stotfold Road would significantly increase the amount of traffic through the Cadwell Lane junction as people begin to use this as a more direct route than the existing Nightingale Rd/ Cambridge Road route to leave, or access, Hitchin to the north east. Further to this the delivery of the scheme is going to be partly reliant on developer contributions to fund the improvement, which will further exacerbate the traffic problems in the area and at present is not likely to come forward in the short/ medium term. Given these outcomes no further work is being planned to progress adoption of the temporary road being constructed by Network Rail or that of a link road at Stotfold Road. North Hertfordshire District Council is currently reviewing their development plans and concerns about this junction is known. Should there be development proposals for this area in the medium term to long term, 2015 and beyond, should funding be possible these options can be reconsidered along with other measures to ensure the benefits are not lost.