Local News

Boost for rapid transit scheme

Thursday 24 October 2019

Plans for an east/west mass rapid transit system received a boost on Monday when councillors recommended developing a detailed proposal to run along the A414 corridor.

The proposals are a key part of the county council's A414 Corridor Strategy to support the delivery of new homes and jobs along the route up to 2031 and beyond. 

Although Hertfordshire has good public transport links for people wanting to travel into and out of London, there are few links for people wanting to travel across the county. The proposed Mass Rapid Transit system will provide a fast and reliable public transport link across the south of Hertfordshire.

Derrick Ashley, Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, said: "Although these proposals are at a very early stage, we're excited about this scheme and the huge difference that it can make to how people get about the county. We need to get people out of their cars if we want to keep the county moving and our economy thriving, but that's hard without suitable alternatives in place.

"We want to harness the most modern travel technology to provide our residents with a cost-effective and sustainable transport system. There's a long way to go, but the Mass Rapid Transit scheme that we're proposing will provide a real and practical alternative to the car for people wanting to travel between some of Hertfordshire's biggest towns."

The details around how the MRT will operate, the exact route it will take and the type of vehicles it will use won't be decided for some time, but various systems are being looked at, including guided busways, light rail, trams and autonomous vehicles. These could run on a mixture of dedicated new routes and repurposed existing highway.

HCC will be working with district and borough councils, tiogether with key stakeholders, to agree the best shape for the MRT. Only then will detailed designs be developed.

There are up to 100,000 new homes planned for Hertfordshire by 2031 and 50% of these will be along the A414 route. This will have a significant impact on the road itself, and on the towns along the route. The increased traffic congestion will lead to longer journey times if nothing is done.

Other key proposals floated by the county council include a Hertford Bypass and a new junction with the M11 north east of Harlow.

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