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Hertfordshire County Council

The Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transit (HERT) will be a new, sustainable passenger transport network. It will carry more people than a car but will be more convenient and reliable than a traditional bus.

The HERT will deliver a step-change in the passenger transport network through an accessible, reliable and affordable east-west transit system which connects people easily to where they live, work and visit. The HERT will support economic growth, improve the environment and positively impact our existing and new communities. It will also connect with north-south rail lines to create new sustainable journey options across the whole of Hertfordshire and beyond.

Public engagement

Last year, we held a 10-week public engagement about the HERT. We shared information about the vision, route, aims and potential benefits of the HERT, giving local people the opportunity to share their thoughts on the proposals.

We have completed our analysis of the feedback received during the public engagement period and can now share the results with you. View a summary of the findings (PDF 8.24MB).

Some of the headline findings from the public engagement period were:

  • 75% of respondents supported or strongly supported the HERT vision
  • Reliable journey times was the biggest priority for respondents, with 73% selecting this option. Service frequency was deemed to be the second most important feature, with 71% of respondents selecting this.
  • 68% of respondents to the survey suggested that they would be likely to use the HERT



The roads from Hemel Hempstead to Harlow currently experience significant traffic congestion and poor journey time reliability.

We’re supporting the district and borough councils in planning for more than 100,000 new homes and jobs to make sure we meet our needs over the next 15 years.

This means there will be a greater demand on our schools, health and social care and on our already congested road and rail network. To achieve the plans, requires a sustainable passenger transport system that puts people first.

In the A414 Corridor Strategy (produced with district and borough councils), we identified that a mass rapid transit system was fundamental to greener and more efficient travel.


Where will it go?

The HERT will form an east-west transport corridor that runs from Watford and Hemel Hempstead in the west to Harlow (Essex) in the east. The proposed HERT corridor will be split into three sections:

  • Hemel Hempstead – Gilston: is the main east-west section that will serve the main settlements between Hemel Hempstead and the new Gilston Garden Town. It will also improve connections to Luton Airport via interchange in St Albans.
  • St Albans – Watford: this north-south section will operate between St Albans and Watford. This corridor is currently served by the Abbey Line with potential for onward connections to west Watford.
  • Gilston – Harlow: (and onward connections to Stansted Airport): this section will provide links from Gilston Garden Town and into Harlow, providing improved onward connections to Stansted Airport.

It’s likely that these sections will be delivered in phases as funding becomes available and in line with planned development.


What type of vehicle will it be?

The vision for The HERT is to provide zero-emission vehicles with a modern, comfortable and spacious design that is easy and accessible for all passengers to use.

The details around how the HERT will operate, the exact route it will take, and the type of vehicles it will use will be explored through detailed technical studies and further public engagement at a later stage.

Scheme objectives

Our 3 key ambitions are:

The HERT will make travel easier to access current and future job opportunities and will provide businesses with greater access to skilled people.

  • Supporting the significant long-term planned growth in the county with better connections between new and existing communities and jobs.
  • Providing a more attractive alternative for motor vehicle users.
  • Ensuring that we are at the forefront of new mass rapid transit technologies to stimulate economic growth.


Making the HERT a reality

A project of this scale will take a number of years to develop and will require substantial investment from both local and central government, along with private sector partners.

We’re in the early stage of developing proposals on the HERT and have a number of steps to go through before it can be built.

We’ll consult with the public at each stage. There will be ongoing engagement with local communities, civic groups, businesses, and other organisations throughout the duration of the scheme, ensuring the widest possible spread of voices are heard throughout the process.


Next steps

We are currently producing a prospectus for the HERT that outlines our mission to provide an east to west mass transit route. This will set out our plan for the development and delivery of a transit route that will facilitate economic growth, the movement of people through sustainable travel measures and reducing pressure on the current transport network. The prospectus will be used in our conversations with potential funding partners, including the Department for Transport. 

The HERT forms part of the county council’s A414 corridor strategy – a package of proposals designed to improve travel between the east and west of the county and reduce car dependency. As part of this, the HERT is aligned with Hertfordshire’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) schemes, as well as the proposals for the Watford to Croxley Link.

Above all, we remain committed to the HERT’s ambitious vision to deliver a step-change in the passenger transport network across the whole of Hertfordshire and beyond.

Any questions? Email us at

Hertfordshire Growth Board HERT article

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