Frequently asked questions
Why are we doing this work?
Clarendon Road is a key gateway into the town centre from Watford junction, a station used by 9 million people a year. It is also a key business hub where global companies like TJX and KPMG have a presence. It’s important that we create a great first impression of our town that encourages people to come in and experience the many things Watford town centre has to offer. It’s also crucial that we create a great wellbeing space for the many workers based along this road and for nearby residents. By creating a better amenity space that looks terrific we will continue to attract top class businesses to Watford.
Why focus on Clarendon Road?
A key focus for Watford Borough Council in the past decade has been regeneration, particularly of the town centre. As well as Clarendon Road, funding has been allocated for revitalising a significant stretch of St Albans Road another key gateway into the town, and we are speaking to local residents and businesses about what improvements they would like to see. These works are scheduled to start next spring.
Clarendon Road is a business area, why not invest in residential areas?
Clarendon Road is a business area surrounded by residential streets. We are creating more civic space along the road to encourage local residents to use it more, particularly at weekends when the business community are not around.
What are you planning to do to the road?
We want to widen the current footway and narrow the current road to create more civic and green space that pedestrians, workers and local residents can enjoy. This space will include:
• Green spaces with trees and planting
• Seating areas
• Rain gardens
• Lighting and artwork
We will also be encouraging the companies along Clarendon Road to open up their frontages to create civic and green space areas
When does the work start and how long will it take?
Works starts mid-July 2019 and is expected to be completed by summer 2021 (subject to change due to road/path conditions and adverse weather).
Will the road close during the work?
The work will be carried out in sections so we minimise the disruption to road users, the business community and local residents. From January to October 2020 the road will be reduced to one-way traffic only (northbound) between Beechen Grove and St John’s Road. Occasional essential road closures will take place at night, but there may be some daytime closures of which prior notice will be given.
Will the planned changes affect the traffic down Clarendon Road?
Although it’s wide, Clarendon Road is primarily a single lane roadway already (with one turning lane and one bus layby). The narrowing of Clarendon Road will not increase or decrease traffic flows as it will still operate as a two way road. The narrowing will simply aim to reduce overall speeds to maintain a maximum 20mph speed limit and therefore increase road safety for pedestrians. Cyclists will be in line with traffic flows and therefore have equal precedent as vehicles
Can a cycle path be incorporated into the new plan?
The narrowing of the road means that there is not sufficient space to include cycle lanes. However, the narrower road and raised tables will slow down the traffic and mitigate overtaking, making Clarendon Road safer for cyclists and giving them equal significance on the road. In addition, we are creating an alternative cycle ‘quietway’ between Watford Junction and the town, running between Station Road and The Parade on the High Street, via Westland Road, Albert Road North and Albert Road South.
How is the work being funded?
This project is jointly funded by Watford Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Watford council’s funding comes from capital monies derived through commercial activities, it is not funded from council tax. Herts LEP is funded through central government.
Who will carry out the work?
Murrill Construction Ltd is the appointed contractor for the works
Will disability access to Clarendon Road be improved?
Access will be improved through better lighting, more appropriate kerbing and more contrasting surfaces. Designers have been working with Disability Watford during the design process on this.
Will car access to businesses be affected?
During the construction work there will be some disruption but we will keep this to a minimum by doing the work in sections – advance notice will be given for any planned work near to your building. If it becomes necessary to obstruct access, alternative parking will be arranged by the Council in consultation with the business.
What do you mean by open up frontages to the businesses?
Where possible we want to encourage the business community to create more civic and green space out front that blends in and enhances the overall planned redevelopment. We appreciate this won’t work for everyone in the short term but we’d like to work with the business community to drive this forward so they can realise the wellbeing benefits for staff and the environment.