More cycle routes and better buses proposed for Stevenage transport plan

PUBLISHED: 08:32 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 24 January 2020

The county council's plans would see better walking and cycle routes both within Stevenage, and into neighbouring towns. Picture: Georgia Barrow

The county council's plans would see better walking and cycle routes both within Stevenage, and into neighbouring towns. Picture: Georgia Barrow

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Plans to adapt and improve Stevenage's transport links have been drawn up, including cycle networks and bus routes, and residents are now invited to share their thoughts with a public consultation.

Stevenage railway station. Picture Harry HubbardStevenage railway station. Picture Harry Hubbard

The A1(M) Growth and Transport Plans aim to improve transport links in the towns in Herts, with proposals set to reduce congestion and provide alternatives to travelling by car.

Plans for transport in Stevenage include improving connectivity between the Gunnels Wood industrial estate and the town centre using cycle routes, and improved bus corridors.

Under the plans for Stevenage - which come in six packages - Herts County Council is supporting Stevenage Borough Council's proposals under the Local Plan to create a new bus station, and implements these proposals into their own transport plans.

This is included in package one, which also proposes support for the borough council's work for an enlarged rail station and fifth platform.

Councillor Derrick AshleyCouncillor Derrick Ashley

To go alongside this, the county council hopes to create a cycle hub at the station which will have secure bike parking, cycle hire and repair facilities.

Package two looks to create cycle paths and improved bus routes between developments in the north and west of Stevenage with the town centre.

The third package looks at the east and south east of Stevenage, providing a bus and cycle network for developments into the town centre.

The second half of packages are about connections between Stevenage and neighbouring towns, and how the council can provide affective road, cycling and walking links.

Package four will see development of a sustainable transport corridor along the B197 to provide a cycle route between Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City, traffic calming and bus priority measures.

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To achieve this, it will mean a possible reduction in street parking.

It will also work with partners to further improve the quality of bus service 300/301 between Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Hemel Hempstead.

There will also be new connections from a planned housing development to Knebworth station.

Package five focuses on connectivity with towns and services to the north of Stevenage, such as Hitchin and Luton. It will work with partners to further improve the quality of route 100/101 between Stevenage and Luton.

There will also be improved pedestrian accessibility between Stevenage and Hitchin with the creation of an inter-urban cycleway.

The final package proposes to improve routes between Stevenage and Letchworth by reconfiguring the B197/A505 junction to reduce bus journey times, and upgrade current National Cycle Route 12 between Letchworth and Stevenage.

The council estimates that all six packages combined will cost between £71.5 million and £239 million.

Councillor Derrick Ashley, cabinet member for growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy at HCC, said: "We're focused on making walking, cycling and public transport the more attractive options as, with more than 100,000 new homes planned for Hertfordshire by 2031 - and with a significant number of these in the towns along the A1(M) corridor - there will be a huge impact on the road itself and, more importantly for us, on the towns along the route.

"The proposed schemes in and around Stevenage are all about improving connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, upgrading bus routes and, ultimately, bus services. Of course, we will also continue to make our roads safer and better connected.

"Stevenage has one of the best cycle networks in the country, and an important part of the Stevenage Mobility Strategy is to make it safer and improve it. We would also like to implement better links for pedestrians and cyclists from Stevenage to Welwyn Garden City, with one scheme focusing on the route along the B197 to give residents better access from the villages to railway stations by using sustainable transport."

Residents can see the plans and give their views on the overall strategies and the transport schemes they propose by taking part in the consultation at hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations. The public consultation closes on March 30, 2020.

Paper copies of the North and South Central Growth & Transport Plan Prospectus and Interventions paper will be available for reference in libraries and borough/district council offices in the plan area shortly.

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