Baldock transport plan targets town centre congestion and new routes to Clothall Common

PUBLISHED: 06:58 03 February 2020

Herts county council have recognised the opportunity to redirect traffic away from the busy B656. Picture: Archant

Herts county council have recognised the opportunity to redirect traffic away from the busy B656. Picture: Archant

Archant

Plans for a new set of link roads to ease congestion through Baldock town centre have been drawn up by Herts County Council – and residents are invited to have their say on the proposals.

The public consultation on the plans is part of HCC's North Central Hertfordshire Growth and Transport Plan.

A major priority will be new link roads to Baldock's proposed residential developments - on land to the north of the town, and south of Clothall Common - outlined in the Local Plan.

These include a new strategic road linking the A505 and A507, north of the town centre.

The county council believes the proposed developments will bring an opportunity to re-focus traffic away from Hitchin Street, which "suffers from congestion issues during the evening and morning peaks."

The plan states: "The design of the link roads through these developments will be important in reducing concentrated traffic through Baldock town centre", and adds that it will be important in "discouraging HGV's from using central routes" - which has become commonplace.

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Other priorities in the plan include improved cycle and pedestrian links to Clothall Common from the railway station - via an improved crossing at Icknield Way East - and the provision of ample cycle parking at the station.

A new cycle route along the B197 London Road - between the A505 roundabout and the centre of Baldock - has also been earmarked, as HCC seeks to deliver on its pledge to make Baldock "a safe, convenient and attractive place to make sustainable transport trips."

Herts county councillor for Baldock, Michael Muir, said that one consequence of the congestion at the A1(M) Letchworth Gate junction is that "HGV's and lorries are using Hitchin street as a through-route - which is absolutely ridiculous."

Councillor Muir also pressed the need for urgent improvements to Baldock's "pitiful" bus service, which has seen bus companies cut huge swathes of services.

If approved, the plans are estimated to cost between £3 million and £6.5 million, and will be completed within two to five years.

Residents can view the plans at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations, and are invited to share their thoughts via A1GTP@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

The public consultation closes on March 30.


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