Cycleways top Hatfield transport plans - but is it ambitious enough?

PUBLISHED: 13:03 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:52 21 January 2020

HCC is considering transport proposals near A1(M) towns and surrounding areas. Picture: Google Street View.

HCC is considering transport proposals near A1(M) towns and surrounding areas. Picture: Google Street View.

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A range of transport plans around the A1(M) corridor have been submitted by Hertfordshire County Council for consultation - with cycleways top of the list for Hatfield.

The plans - one for the north of Hertfordshire and one for the south - set out 51 packages of potential improvements along A1(M) towns such as Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Potters Bar, as well as others further afield.

For Hatfield, this could mean a new cycle and bus lane along Cavendish Way, as well as cycle hire and cycle parking locations.

There could also be a cycleway along French Horn Lane, with a link to Queensway - as well as improved street lighting and CCTV along streets and underpasses in this area.

Comet Way would also be downgraded to one lane and to provide an off-road cycle lane around the roundabout - as part of a bid to improve transport choices between the business park and the town centre. There are also plans to give buses priority on Wellfield Road.

For those wanting to travel between The Ryde, the town centre and the railway station, there is a proposed cycle lane along Mount Pleasant Lane and an off-road cycleway along St Albans Road East, and proposals to widen the St Albans Road East rail bridge.

In total, the plans for Hatfield could cost between £56 and £132 million.

Dr Susie Gordon, a county councillor for Hatfield East, hopes that residents engage with the "exciting" plans as she believes that residents are best able to highlight issues or ideas that HCC has not considered.

Vice-chairwoman Cllr Gordon added that "the aim is to try and head off the traffic problem and significantly reduce car use" and "will encourage walking and public transport".

However, county councillor Paul Zukowskyj for Hatfield South believes the plans are just not ambitious enough.

Cllr Zukowskyj said: "It won't deliver a 20 to 25 per cent increase in capacity" for the A1(M) and rail capacity can only increase with more tracks if Hatfield is going to cope with increasing "house numbers that are being forced on local authorities".

He added: "HCC should push the government to three-lane the A1(M) and four-track the East Coast Main Line by replacing the Digswell Viaduct."

The WHT will be looking at the plans for WGC and Potters Bar in the coming weeks, but you can comment on the public consultation before March 30 by going to hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations.

County councillor Margaret Eames-Petersen for Hatfield North was also contacted by the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

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