A new traffic light junction could be scrapped – but only if a minimum six-month trial proves the system has a “significantly negative” impact on drivers.

Hertfordshire County Council is sticking by its plans to introduce traffic lights near Radlett despite a thousand-strong petition against the proposal.

A new cycle path and footpath is proposed along a bridge in Harper Lane as part of a development of 206 homes.

But when temporary traffic lights were brought in to help create a permanent traffic light junction in January, Watling Street and Harper Lane ground to a halt and the scheme was put on hold.

On Monday, the highways panel at the county council agreed to press on with the project to the “dismay” of people living in Radlett and Bricket Wood.

David Lyttom said: “The negative impact of the roadworks a number of months ago are well documented. Traffic was a nightmare. There is no rationale for the proposed works - the junction is self-policing.

“The additional traffic and footfall from just 206 new houses will be limited. All of this concern, delay, cost and time could be avoided by one very simple measure - simply arranging for some new public transport.”

Stephen Braden added: “My daughter takes a school bus to St Albans, as there are no state secondary schools in Radlett. If the previous trial is anything to go by, the bus will be delayed by 30 minutes a day minimum. I commute to work in Potters Bar, and face the same delay both to and from work.

“The combined stress and inconvenience to a huge number of people who use this essential route every single day vastly outweighs any perceived benefits for the minuscule number of people who might use the proposed footpath.

“The decision has clearly been made without any local knowledge, any consideration, or any logic and will cause serious damage and distress to the community.”

And Nina Blain added: “I am totally dismayed that the decision has been made to go ahead. I live in Bricket Wood but my children go to school in Radlett. This is going to make daily life a total nightmare and will the new path even get used?”

According to the petition an “acceptable long-term solution” would need to widen the existing narrow bridge on Harper Lane, which is owned by Network Rail, or add a second footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

But council officers say the cost of an additional bridge would be in excess of £5million.

Upgrading an existing footpath towards Radlett is not “feasible” and would require new lighting, according to chairman of the panel, Cllr Phil Bibby.

Officers say traffic modelling shows that when the planned three-way lights are installed the maximum delay to motorists travelling in any direction will be two minutes.

Cllr Bibby says the cycle path demonstrates the council’s aim to be more “sustainable” as outlined in its local transport plan.

He added he believed the trial period was a “fair compromise” and if the trial proves not to work, then the bridge in Harper Lane would not become single file.

The county council acknowledges some disruption is “inevitable” particularly when temporary lights are installed to put into the new trial system, but says a traffic management system will be put in place to “minimise delays for both pedestrians and road users”.

Cllr Jane West, who represents Hertsmere, was the only member of the panel to vote against the proposal.

The Highways Panel consists of: Cllr Phil Bibby, chairman, CON Stevenage, Cllr Stephen Giles Medhurst LD Watford, Cllr Steve Jarvis LD North Herts, Cllr Jeff Jones CON East Herts, Cllr Joan King LAB South Oxhey, Cllr Mark Mills-Bishop CON Broxbourne, Cllr Michael Muir CON North Herts, Cllr Robin Parker LD Stevenage, Cllr Richard Smith CON Welwyn Hatfield, Cllr Jane West CON Hertsmere, Cllr Colin Woodward CON East Herts, Cllr Roma Mills LAB St Albans, Cllr Eric Buckmaster CON East Herts.