Posted: Tuesday 16th January 2018
There’s only one week left to respond to Hertfordshire County Council’s Local Transport Plan, where developing a more sustainable transport network is a key aim for the future.
The public consultation on the plan closes on 23 January 2018.
Hertfordshire’s vision for the future of transport in the county sees walking, cycling and public transport playing a much greater role in getting people around the county.
Significant house building and existing travel habits will mean that there will still be an important role for the car in the next 15 years, however new transport technology such as driverless cars could mean that the days of car travel as we know it are numbered.
Derrick Ashley, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Most of the feedback we’ve had so far has been supportive of our plans for coping with growth in the county with a less car-focused transport network, but we’re keen to hear from as many people as possible before the end of the consultation.
“As a car driver I know that driving is the only realistic choice for a lot of journeys, but we can’t just keep building new roads and hoping that will solve congestion in the county. That’s not to say there will no future investment in roads - there will, but we must make the alternatives of walking cycling and public transport more attractive and accessible.
“The county’s population is growing, and we’re going to need more infrastructure to support that, but we can’t just let that mean more and more cars on the roads. There simply isn’t the space. We need to get people out of their cars if we want to keep the county moving and our economy thriving. New technologies such as driverless cars will be with us sooner than we think, so we need to make decisions now to make sure we have the right kind of transport network for the future.
“Let us know by 23 January if you think we’ve got it right so we can make sure that Hertfordshire continues to be a county of opportunity.”
By 2031 there will be 175,000 more people living in Hertfordshire using the transport system, as well as a growing populations outside the county travelling to and through Hertfordshire. As a result, a journey that currently takes an hour could take 15 minutes longer. We can’t just build more roads, so we’re looking at smarter options such as prioritising cycling and walking, and using new technologies. Most journeys in towns are less than three miles so if we can encourage people to walk and cycle rather than use the car that would make a big difference. However we will still need to improve our road network in key places.
The plan sets out the county council’s support for major transport schemes that will make a significant improvement to travel in the county including:
• Creating Sustainable Travel Towns in Bishop’s Stortford, Broxbourne, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, St Albans, Stevenage, Watford and Welwyn Garden City.
• Cycling route improvements in Baldock, Berkhamsted, Bishop’s Stortford, Borehamwood, Broxbourne, Harpenden, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, Hitchin, Hoddesdon, Letchworth Garden City, Potters Bar, Rickmansworth, Royston, St Albans, Stevenage, Tring, Ware, Watford and Welwyn Garden City.
• The Metropolitan Line Extension to Watford Junction
• Crossrail2 – a proposed new rail link connecting Broxbourne, Cheshunt and Waltham Cross to London.
• A Bus Rapid Transit scheme to link Hemel Hempstead to Welwyn Garden City via St Albans
• a potential Hertford bypass
• A414 upgrades –to improve junctions around Hemel Hempstead, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City, London Colney and East Hertfordshire to the north of Harlow
As well as major schemes, the county council is also proposing wider policies to manage the extra strain on our network and make alternatives to the car more practical. Key policies include:
• Designing streets and public places to put pedestrians and cyclists first, not cars
• Providing real alternatives to the car, particularly for journeys within towns
• Making sure that Hertfordshire is ready for the impact of new technologies, such as driverless cars
• Improving public transport, for example with more bus priority lanes
• Working to improve train services and stations in Hertfordshire
• Using intelligent systems to manage traffic on Hertfordshire’s roads in real time
• Improving road safety and managing traffic speeds effectively
To take part in the consultation visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/LTP4
The deadline for responses is Tuesday 23 January 2017.