More than 1,800 people have backed a petition calling for a ‘safe route’ for cyclists, runners and pedestrians alongside a ‘hazardous’ road

The A5183 road – which runs between Redbourn and St Albans – is already used by hundreds of cyclists a week.

But the road is said to have become "extremely hazardous"  and "often dangerous" over the last few years.

And on Tuesday, cycle shop owner Simon Barnes presented a petition with around 1800 signatures to a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council.

The petition points to "several" cycling fatalities on the stretch of road.

It says the existing footpath is poorly maintained and "not inviting for cyclists".

And it calls for a "safe route" for cyclists, runners and walkers along the road.

The safe route, it says, would link to the Nickey Line, which connects Hemel Hempstead and Harpenden, with other existing routes to St Albans.

Mr Barnes – who has lived in Redbourn for 17 years and now runs a cafe and cycle shop – told councillors there was a need to capitalise on the recent resurgence of cycling.

He said that in his many decades involved in cycling he had never seen such a big and rapid increase in cycling as he had brought about by Covid-19.

According to Mr Barnes a pop-up, temporary or permanent cycle lane – which he said would meet the criteria that the government’s emergency active travel fund – would improve the route.

At the meeting of the full council the  petition was accepted by executive member for highways and the environment Cllr Phil Bibby.

Cllr Bibby said the council was fully aware of the challenges on this stretch of road between Redbourn and St Albans, which ‘has a chequered accident history’.

He said it was recognised that this would not be considered as a viable route by anyone other than confident users.

And he said a number of changes had been made to the route over the past 15 years – but challenges remained.

He said funding from the Emergency Active Travel fund was a great opportunity to address the issues.

He said cycling groups, district and county councillors had been consulted. And now more than 100 schemes would be put in to priority order.