A public consultation on the county council's plans for future growth and transport plans has ben extended until the end of February.
The Hertfordshire South East Growth and Transport Plan looks at the key problems and opportunities on the transport network, and identifies potential works to improve the transport network, especially in the light of the number of new homes being built in the area.
Potential work in Hertford includes:
There are no proposals for a bypass in the plans, but it is discussed in the "Intereventions Paper".
A wide range of proposed interventions are put forward in Hertford ... The overarching aim of these interventions is to make travelling within Hertford more convenient on foot, by bike and by bus.
Hertford suffers from significant traffic congestion, especially weekday morning and evening peak periods, and at other times. The A414 is also used as an alternative route to the M25 when the motorway is experiencing incidents and closures.
Much of the town’s traffic congestion and air quality issues are focused on the A414 corridor (and adjoining roads) which runs east-west through the middle of the town. It is impossible to avoid the A414 if travelling north-south across Hertford.
Unlocking all of the planned housing growth and delivering attractive sustainable travel alternatives to the car will in the long term require a strategic intervention. This could take the form of a bypass and/or a new public transport route. A strategic intervention will be complex and will therefore take longer to bring forward. This should not however deter efforts to introduce improvements to footways, cycle routes and bus services which can deliver positive change in the short term.
Many of the proposals put forward in these packages could be delivered in the shorter-term period, subject to more detailed development work, consultation with local people and funding being available.
A focus should be on improving routes through residential areas such as Bengeo to the stations and town centre easier to follow and more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists; providing additional cycle parking and reviewing car parking facilities.
Clearly if the A414 corridor continues to dominate the town, this could eventually constrain opportunities to fully transform Hertford into a sustainable travel town which delivers the objectives and policies of LTP4 to their fullest potential.
A strategic intervention which can remove traffic from the centre of Hertford will create opportunities to provide much improved facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and buses. For example, the dual carriageway could be reduced in size to a single carriageway road with priority lanes for buses, and pedestrian subways can be replaced with at-grade crossings.
:: South East GTP Interventions Paper (Hertfordshire County Council)
Pressure on the A414 is expected to grow with over 1000 new homes expected in the town in the next 10-12 years, along with 10,000 homes in Harlow & Gilston, up to 1500 homes in Ware, and 2500 at Birchall Garden Village.
However, plans for a bypass are highly controversial, with a recent paper presented to the council suggesting the proposal is on hold .
Work to develop the Eastern Growth and Transport Plan has been largely finalised. Work to further progress the bypass concept is on hold until further development of the MRT [Mass Rapid Transport] concept has been completed and the case for a bypass can be reassessed alongside future local Plans and the associated transport requirements
:: Rupert Thacker, Head of Highways Strategy and Implementation
The county council are keen to see a shift toward sustainable travel, including greater use of public transport and cycling. There is no mention of provision for electric scooters in the council's plans. This model shift is supported by a policy of discouraging car travel.
The county council considers greater traffic demand management to be essential in the county's urban areas in the next five years to achieve modal shift and improve sustainable travel provision. This can only currently be achieved efficiently and effectively through parking restrictions and charging applied to on-street, off-street and potentially at workplace parking. The county council will work with the district and borough councils and other key stakeholders to develop ;locally appropriate strategies.
:: South East Hertfordshire Growth and Transport Plan
The consultation is taking place online and documentation laying out the proposals are included. Follow this link to » take part in the South East Growth & Transport Plan consultation.
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