New A414 corridor strategy in Hertfordshire could cost £1.3 billion

PUBLISHED: 14:03 29 November 2019

The A414 from Hatfield to St Albans. Picture: Google Street View.

The A414 from Hatfield to St Albans. Picture: Google Street View.

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A new A414 corridor strategy was agreed by Hertfordshire County Council on Monday (Nov 25) - which could cost £1.3 billion.

The plan includes 30 packages of proposals designed to improve transport links across the county ,and recognises that transport links in and out of London are currently better than those running between the east and west of Hertfordshire.

The cabinet agreed the A414 corridor strategy - which is essentially a package of proposals designed to improve travel between the east and west of the county and to get more people out of their cars.

Hatfield and St Albans feature heavily in these plans, and there are plans for a continuous off-road cycle route between Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Park Street.

Improvements to the Park Street roundabout - where the A414, A405 and A5183 meet - are also proposed to cut delays and help facilitate growth.

There are also plans designed to divert 'strategic' traffic away from the A405 between St Albans and Watford to enable space for buses, bikes and cars.

These include additional 'slips' at junction 21 of the M25 to allow movement between the M25 and the M1, and enhanced cycling facilities along the A405, linking St Albans and Leavesden.

Improvements to the Alban Way are proposed to improve travel between Park Street, St Albans and London Colney - including signage, 'appropriate' lighting, crossings, maintenance and promotion.

There are also proposals to improve access to St Albans City Station, including improvements to Victoria Street, cycleways along Grosvenor Road and Ridgement Road and increased cycle parking.

Buses will be given priority along Hatfield Road, which could mean removing on-street parking, as well as footway improvements, crossing upgrades and bus stop improvements.

There are proposals to upgrade junctions at Park Street, Napsbury, Lobndon Colney and Colney Heath, to the south of St Albans, as well as the implementation of 'smart' traffic management and signage improvements.

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Meanwhile there are also plans to improve the A414 cycleway between London Colney and Hatfield.

For those looking to travel between St Albans and London Colney, there are further plans to develop an 'active transport corridor' along Coopers Green Lane, with a link to Hatfield Business Park.

This would include space for cyclists and pedestrians and would be supported by a reduction in the speed limit.

In Hatfield there are plans for a new cycle lane and a 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.

In Hatfield there are further plans to 'downgrade' Comet Way 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.

Also identified is the possibility of improving the A1(M) junction 4, as well as upgrading A414 junctions with the A1001 at Oldings Corner and the A1000 at Mill Green.

And as well as improving connectivity, the strategy aims to provide alternatives to the car along the 'corridor' - with plans for a 'mass rapid transit' system at its heart.

Other changes include enhancements to local bus services, as well as better walking and cycling links and improvements to the highways.

However it is not certain that the strategy document - and further implementation plan - will be fully implemented, but it will be used to support the council to bid for future funding opportunities.

Many of the 30 'packages' of proposals identified in the strategy are deliberately intended to enable and complement the development of the proposed 'mass rapid transit' system.

Implementing all the proposals in the strategy would cost an estimated £1.3 billion.

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