Improvements to be made to cycling and pedestrian route in WGC town centre
- Credit: Hertfordshire County Counci
Work is set to begin on a cycling and pedestrian improvement scheme in Welwyn Garden City's town centre.
Changes by Herts County Council will start with the installation of a new two-way cycle route in Bridge Road between Bessemer Road and the town centre.
This scheme will take the place of the existing temporary cycle facility that offers onward connections to National Cycle Network Route 12.
Construction on the Bridge Road scheme will start the week commencing September 5, and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2023.
Minor preparation works will take place on two nights only from August 22. All main works will be undertaken between 9am and 6pm.
A new single-phase toucan crossing for pedestrians and cyclists will also be installed in Osborn Way, while improvements will be made to existing bus stops.
Smaller preparation works will begin from mid-August with the main improvement work starting in early September.
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These improvements come as a part of the county council’s wider commitment to sustainable travel, which aims to better the health and wellbeing of communities, while also making towns cleaner, less congested, which helps make it a better place to live, work and visit.
Developing on work completed in Stonehills last year, the Bridge Road scheme will link into upcoming improvements around Howardsgate, Fretherne Road, Wigmores North and the top of Parkway.
The scheme will be undertaken by the county council following the award of a total £9m from the Department for Transport as part of the Active Travel Fund, which supports local authorities to create safer, easier to use spaces for those who cycle and walk.
A public consultation was held in July 2021 for eight schemes across Hertfordshire, including the Bridge Road project which received "wide support from the public".
With additional funding announced in May 2022 and the proximity of the scheme to the town centre, it was agreed that further improvements in and around Howardsgate (consulted on separately in 2018), would be included in the improvement works package.
Cllr Phil Bibby, executive member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m delighted that following extensive public consultation last year and a successful trial at the beginning of 2022, that this scheme will now become a reality.
"Together with the works already completed in Stonehills, Welwyn Garden City will soon have an extensive network of cycling and walking improvements for both residents and visitors to enjoy using.
“Our new corporate plan sets out the vision for a cleaner, greener, healthier Hertfordshire. Providing safe and easy ways for people to walk and travel by bike is key to making this become a reality.”
Works have been phased to minimise disruption and there will be road and/or lane closures enforced periodically in Osborn Way, Bridge Road and the roundabout during construction to ensure works can be carried out safely.
In September, during the first two weeks of works, the bus station will be unavailable for use. Services for the town centre will instead call at the bus stops outside Waitrose and John Lewis and temporary bus stops will also be provided for school services in Bridge Road.
Official diversions and bus service details will be clearly signed and publicised in advance.
Works will pause throughout the majority of December to minimise the impact to shops in the run-up to Christmas.
Once main works in Bridge Road are completed, delivery of the second phase of works around Howardsgate are set to commence in early 2023.
For full details of the scheme and its benefits, or to access a report summarising the consultation outcomes on all eight of the schemes, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/activetravelfund