Local News

Labour question town centre measures

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Hertford & Ware Labour Party has written to the town centre's county councillor and Mayor Bob Deering, calling for public involvement at all stages as the County Council draws up their new active travel strategy.

Planters have been installed in Fore Street to promote social distancing

Herts County Council was awarded £1.24 million in funding from the Government's Active Travel Fund in June to introduce active travel restrictions across the county, including those currently in place in Hertford Town Centre. These include parking restrictions on and the partial pedestrianisation of Fore Street. Following a successful bid, an additional £6.4 million has been allocated to the County Council to upgrade some of these temporary measures into permanent installations.

"It's been a tough year for our local businesses. They've kept our community moving not just through the pandemic, but through years of delay on the Bircherley Green redevelopment too." Josh Dean, Chair of the Constituency Labour Party, said. "While Labour supports schemes to promote green and sustainable travel in Hertford, the County Council must be mindful of the impact active travel restrictions have on the businesses in our town centre. That's why I've written to Bob Deering calling for businesses and residents to be involved at all  stages as these plans are drawn up, not just in a late stage consultation prior to implementation."

Fore Street has been closed between Market Place and Parliament Square

The local Labour Party have also raised concerns that existing sustainable travel measures lack signs of a strategy or consultation with local people, in particular the installation of double bicycle racks on the corner of Queen's Road.

"I've spoken to a number of local cyclists, many of whom are puzzled at the choice of location for this new rack and are wondering why the existing storage in the town centre has not been refurbished." Josh added, "£6.4 million is a lot of money - it's important the council are spending it wisely and developing a joined up strategy in consultation with local people, not just paying lip service to green travel with token gestures."

Temporary cycle racks have been placed at the corner of Queen's Road and Castle Street

In their letter, Hertford & Ware Labour have also called on Cllr.Deering to explain what action he will personally take to ensure local residents and businesses have a meaningful seat at the table in discussions revolving around green travel and tackling the climate crisis.

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