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Hertford Bypass

Posted: Thu 27 Oct, 2016 2:04 pm
by Steve
Proposals for a bypass around Hertford are included in a new consultation document published by Herts County Council.

You can read the document at:

A straw poll on Discover Hertford last year showed a majority in favour of a bypass: ... ?f=5&t=572

The consultation document sets out details of a major scheme that could be implemented between 2021 and 2031 and costing £155-175m:

Traffic and congestion on the A414 through Hertford is constraining the level of housing growth that can be delivered in the area without a severe deterioration in journey times and reliability. There is already evidence of rat running on lower classifications of roads in the area by traffic avoiding the A414 through the town, and severe problems occur whenever incidents on the M25 cause traffic to reroute onto the A414. Traffic levels on the A414 cause air quality problems, severance issues between the town centre and the south of the town, and blight the public realm. A large proportion of the traffic on the A414 in peak periods is passing through the town (in the AM peak around 40% of westbound and 36% of eastbound traffic). Alternative options to a bypass have been considered, but it is unlikely that a viable option could be delivered that adequately addressed the levels of traffic and congestion in the town and the problems this causes. Because of the extent of rat running, solutions that could encourage modal shift from car to more sustainable modes would not reduce traffic and congestion in the town because rat running traffic would return to the A414. A town the size of Hertford is unlikely to be able to sustain an effective park and ride system. Also changes to car parking supply and charges at a scale that would deliver sufficient reductions in traffic, are likely to harm the local economy and be unpopular with local residents.

This major scheme would deliver a dual carriageway bypass linking a junction on the A414 west of the town with the A10 to the east. The route for this could be to the north or south of the town- although the costs and benefits presented here are based on a southern option. Intermediate junctions may be included along the bypass to link with additional local roads. By freeing capacity on the existing A414 through Hertford, a carriageway lane in each direction could be reassigned for use by other modes (walking, cycling, public transport) or for improved public realm. This could not only transform sustainable travel in the town, but also the quality of the local environment and ensure traffic is encouraged onto the bypass and away from urban roads. The combination of a bypass and sustainable travel town approach would ensure the scheme contributed to most of the LTP objectives. Specific benefits include:

• Alleviation of peak hour traffic congestion, with moderate improvements to journey times (5-10 minutes compared to the route through Hertford) and journey time reliability.

• Provision of additional capacity to cater for forecast growth in travel demand.

• More shorter trips made on foot, by bicycle or by public transport, with associated benefits to public health through increased levels of physical activity

• Significant traffic removed from the A414 through Hertford, a reduction in private vehicle use for shorter trips with sustainable mode improvements, and improvements in local air quality.

• Enhanced public realm in the town.

While every effort would be made to mitigate the impact of the scheme, a bypass to the north or south of the town is likely to have a major impact on the local environment.

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Thu 27 Oct, 2016 3:10 pm
by Alec
Interesting. Taking peak time traffic out of Hertford and quietening down the current dual carriageway would be a great improvement.

The impact on the surrounding countryside, on the other hand, will be a great loss. Though I suspect it may be one worth paying.

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Fri 28 Oct, 2016 6:46 am
by codek2
Huh. Key points:

1. Housing growth is currently constrained - meaning there'll be a boom on houses once the road is built (and probably therefore more traffic)
2. Explicitly says will draw MORE traffic off the M25. Hence will be busy from day 1. (And curiously if local junctions are put in, these could be immediately clogged)
3. Significant negative impact to the local area, as you say maybe worth paying.

No mention of impact to local shops/retail. (Although hertford seems to be doing well so maybe that's not an issue)

Right. Be careful what you wish for!

ANY land between hertford and the bypass will be free game for developers. So it really depends where the road ends up. It also gives the green tick to the development between cole green and welwyn - the 414 was the main sticking point for that.

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Tue 01 Nov, 2016 9:13 am
by Kateg28
Codek2 : what would your solution be?

Do you advocate leaving it as it is so no growth but significant traffic at peak times or to find a bypass (this proposal or some other way) and deal with the potential new building boom and population growth?

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Tue 01 Nov, 2016 12:54 pm
by codek2
I'm not a traffic expert, but the problem is related to reducing 2 lanes to 1 in various places. Solve that and you flow better.

widening the train bridge for example. MUCH cheaper too.

Also, the window of bad traffic is relatively small. It's only when there's external bad events e.g. m25 failures, that it gets really bad.

But i'm not an expert - and i'm not as anti bypass as I was, but i just want to be sure people are aware that it has massive risks in itself. As long as people accept and understand those, it's fine.

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Tue 01 Nov, 2016 9:35 pm
by Smudger
I would like to see a by-pass on practical grounds, but don't like to see the countryside concreted over.

It's a shame they can't drop the A414 through Hertford underground, like they have done in some other places.
That way we get to alleviate the traffic congestion without losing the countryside, and on top of the sunken A414 we could have a dedicated cycle way, and a minor town road. And the town wouldn't feel too cut in half.
Or a long twisting park - check out what they did in Valencia when they re-routed the river ... -riverbed/

Wouldn't that be cheaper than a by-pass anyway ?

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Wed 02 Nov, 2016 6:54 am
by Darcy Sarto
Smudger wrote:Wouldn't that be cheaper than a by-pass anyway ? no.

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Wed 02 Nov, 2016 8:45 am
by Kateg28
codek2 wrote: widening the train bridge for example. MUCH cheaper too.
Aaahhh noooooo. Months of disruption on the trains :o

I commute on trains and very rarely ever drive through Hertford in rush hour so the traffic problems do not affect me but major bridge work would cause me significant issues and it is all about me.

Actually I don't disagree with you, I think it would make sense to widen that small bit of road although whether it would help enough I am not sure.

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Wed 02 Nov, 2016 12:09 pm
by highwood38
Widening the road might help the traffic jams, but it wouldn't do anything about the fact you've got lots of lots of cars driving through a town that they don't want to be in and the people in the town don't want them to be in. You'd still have Hertford cut in two by a really busy road. Personally I think it's madness to have a road like that through the town, and although building a bypass would involve building on countryside, you'd actually improve far more people's lives that way than you would impact (though I accept that is a very utilitarian way of looking at things).

Re: Hertford Bypass

Posted: Wed 02 Nov, 2016 4:54 pm
by Alec
Kateg28 wrote: Actually I don't disagree with you, I think it would make sense to widen that small bit of road although whether it would help enough I am not sure.
The single lane under the bridge is an anomaly. However, bear in mind that travelling West -> East the traffic is backed up through town *after* the pinchpoint, as well as before, which would indicate that alleviating that wouldn't make much difference - unless of course the town is experiencing gridlock as a result of traffic going the other way being slow.

It does feel like the two big roundabouts are the main contributors, though. In each direction, once you're past your second roundabout, everything tends to ease up.