South West Hertfordshire first in line for new transport policy
Published: 19 Mar 2019
Residents have had their say on the future of transport in the county by taking part in Hertfordshire County Council’s South West Herts Growth and Transport Plan consultation.
More than 3,000 responses were received from the public overall, with the consultation running from July to September 2018, and a number of changes have subsequently been made to the plan.
These include removing a proposal to close Fishery Road, in Hemel Hempstead, to all vehicles excluding buses and cyclists.
The county council’s Cabinet agreed to adopt the revised plan at its meeting on Monday (18 March 2019). The plan forms part of its Local Transport Plan (LTP4) strategy, which will provide a framework to guide all future transport planning and investment. It highlights transport problems and issues, and identifies ways in which they can be resolved.
The consultation focused on Hemel Hempstead, Watford and the surrounding areas, including links to nearby towns like Bushey, Rickmansworth, St Albans, Harpenden and neighbouring Luton.
A series of packages form the South West Herts Growth and Transport Plan, and these include proposals to improve journeys in and around Hemel Hempstead, to reduce congestion in Watford town centre, and to make better use of the Abbey Line to strengthen connections between Watford and St Albans.
The population of Hertfordshire is expected to rise by up to 175,000 by 2031 – and this will inevitably have a major impact on the transport network. We would expect to see a 20% increase in traffic on Hertfordshire’s roads and, for example, an additional 30% congestion on the A414, by 2031 – if no action is taken.
Councillor Derrick Ashley, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, said:
“Residents’ views are so important in planning how our transport system will look in the coming years, so I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in the consultation. It was greatly encouraging to see the number of people who responded, with almost 25% in the age 16 to 34 category which is fantastic.
“The South West Herts Growth and Transport Plan is the first in a series that will cover different areas of the county. This is a busy part of Hertfordshire so we’re looking at how we can deliver the growth we need but also tackle congestion, particularly at peak times.
“The plan assesses how we can improve connections between different places, better alternatives to car journeys, and make key locations more accessible. Our vision for the future of transport in the county sees walking, cycling and public transport playing a much greater role in getting people around, as shown in LTP4.”