Could your town be a sustainable travel town?

Published: 05 Dec 2018


Healthier, safer and more attractive towns and funding for projects supporting sustainable travel are on offer as part of a new Hertfordshire County Council initiative launched last week.

The county council is looking for towns willing to take part in its Sustainable Travel Towns programme, and work together to create schemes that will help make it easier for residents to leave their cars at home, and walk, cycle or take the bus instead.

Derrick Ashley, Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, said: “Whenever we talk about getting people out of their cars, we always come up against the same problem – that we don’t make it easy enough for people to walk, cycle or catch the bus.

“That’s why we’re asking towns to put themselves forward to become Sustainable Travel Towns and change all that. We’re looking for places that want to work with us to provide alternatives to reduce the number of car journeys in the town and get people walking and cycling instead. We’re willing to put up money, time and expertise to improve what’s available in the town, but we can’t do everything everywhere. These schemes need local support to be successful so we’ll work with towns where there’s a genuine local desire to change the way people get about.

“With at least 100,000 new homes planned for the county over the next 15 years, we’ll see a 20% increase in traffic on our roads if we don’t take action, so we need to look beyond car travel if we’re going to keep our county moving. We also want Hertfordshire residents to use healthy travel options wherever possible so they stay fit and well, now and in future”

Towns that successfully bid to become Sustainable Travel Towns will benefit from a range of measures to make walking, cycling and bus travel a more attractive and practical option. These will be designed specifically for each Sustainable Travel Town, but could include measures such as:

• New cycling routes and cycle parking
• Safe crossing points and wider pavements
• Seating, planting and better lighting in public spaces
• Bus priority measures
• Parking restrictions
• Personalised travel plans

Any local group can bid for their town to become a Sustainable Travel Town. However to be successful a bid will need support from a wide range of local stakeholders. The county council will assess all bids against a set of criteria to ensure that time, money and effort is directed where it will make the most difference. All bids will need to show how a wide range of measures can work together as one package.

For more details on the criteria and how to bid to become a Sustainable Travel Town go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/stt

Sustainable Travel Towns are part of Hertfordshire County Council’s Local Transport Plan, which aims to reduce reliance on the car and get the county’s transport network ready for the future. They are an innovative approach to reshaping the local highway network and places as a whole. The measures will be delivered in a compact time frame and be fully coordinated on a town-wide basis to achieve maximum impact. A Sustainable Travel Town will feel considerably different with pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users having a greater priority than they do at present.