Welwyn Garden City travel plans focus on cycleways

PUBLISHED: 11:37 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:37 29 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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Plans to improve travel for Welwyn Garden City and the towns along the A1(M) have been submitted by Herts County Council for public consultation.

The planned improvements for Welwyn Garden City.The planned improvements for Welwyn Garden City.

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 Welwyn Garden City this could mean improving and promoting the A1000 corridor cycleway between Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City and the development of a southern Welwyn Garden City cycle bypass linking Hatfield directly to the Cole Green Way cycleway and the implementation of a recreational Welwyn Hatfield Green Corridor between the towns.

Coopers Green Lane could see development including cycling and footway infrastructure supported by a reduction in the speed limit and new crossings.

There is also an aim to form a sustainable transport corridor between St Albans and Welwyn Garden City for journeys on foot and by bike between the towns.

The planned improvements for Welwyn Garden City.The planned improvements for Welwyn Garden City.

Upgrades on the A1(M)-A414 Junction 4 Interchange will hope to reduce congestion and increase reliability for interurban trips.

A main goal is to turn Welwyn Garden City into a town that facilitates safe, attractive, and convenient journeys by active and sustainable transport modes.

This is planned to be implemented through improving the town cycleway network, including completing missing links, improved infrastructure, cycle parking at key locations and development of a town bus network.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane on Bridge Road allowing for the development of cycleways, widened footways, and improved bus stops.

The planned improvements for Welwyn Garden City.The planned improvements for Welwyn Garden City.

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There are plans to improve connections between towns and facilitate development on the Welwyn Garden City to Stevenage and Hitchin corridor through the formation of a sustainable transport corridor along the B197 and B656 and Digswell Road.

There are also plans to facilitate new and existing public transport connections between Luton and Welwyn Garden City, as well as developing a cycleway between Luton and Welwyn Garden City/Hatfield.

Nigel Quinton, county councillor for Handside & Peartree, said: "This plan contains some good analysis highlighting the existing shortfall in our transport infrastructure, especially the unreliability.

"The scale of the problem is huge, as Hertfordshire faces a roughly £6 billion requirement for infrastructure spending in the next decade to cope with the 100,000 new homes scheduled to be built, and it is estimated that only about one third of that money can be extracted from the development projects themselves.

"The elephant in the room is public transport - whilst the reports recognise this, there is no specific suggestion as to how bus services can be improved.

"There is also disappointingly little about electrification of either public or private transport - in fact a word search for 'electric' found not a single reference in the Prospectus document, despite the more detailed report highlighting that electric cars will be cheaper than their conventional equivalents within the next two years.

The improvments could take 10 years and cost up to £162m.

Cllr Quinton added: "As far as the suggestions in Welwyn Garden City go, we welcome the focus on cycling infrastructure, but they are mostly suggested for two to 10 years' time, when we really need the investment now.

"Despite the 500 pages of documentation, there are no detailed plans of what is suggested, making it very hard to comment on individual schemes.

"Overall, there is some good work here by Aecom, but it needs the political will and central government funding to turn aspiration into an actual improvement of our environment."

To comment or find out more, visit hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations by March 30.


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