One of North Hertfordshire’s major roads could receive a walking and cycling boost worth more than £37million.

Hertfordshire County Council’s transport panel agreed to support an active travel plan for the A505 – part of a larger North Herts wishlist costed at a total £180.3million.

The district and county councils developed a list of 81 local walking and cycling infrastructure plan (LCWIP) projects, which they costed and arranged into priority order.

First on the list is a £7.14million segregated cycleway and traffic calming scheme along Hitchin’s Bedford Road – the A505 and A600 between Ickleford and the town centre.

Hertfordshire County and North Herts councils will eye up £8.81m for segregated cycleway and footway improvements on the A505 Cambridge Road between Hitchin station and the edge of Letchworth.

This would link up with a £1.73m plan to reallocate some of the road and grass verges to a cycle track in at least one direction in Hitchin Road, Letchworth.

The Comet: The A505/A10 roundabout north of Royston, on the Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire border.The A505/A10 roundabout north of Royston, on the Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire border. (Image: Google Maps)

The highest-cost item on the list is a £10.47m suggestion for footway improvements and a new cycleway in Letchworth’s Baldock Road – the A505 and B656 roads.

“Footway parking in this area would need removing or relocating to create space for a cycle facility,” an item note reads.

It adds that some sections of the route near Sixth Avenue are “constrained”, and that at Jubilee Road, changing how the road space is allocated “would greatly improve pedestrian and cycle safety and comfort, especially for the many schoolchildren who pass through”.

The two councils will get hold of the money by bidding for government cash or through legal agreements when developers submit planning applications, a Hertfordshire County Council report notes.

It sets out 1,239 responded to consultations about changes in North Hertfordshire.

A total 73 per cent of respondents said they support the “vision of implementing cycling and walking schemes in North Hertfordshire”.

Speaking at the panel meeting on Wednesday, September 13, Conservative councillor Sarah Tallon, who represents London Colney near St Albans, said: “It’s commendable how many people responded to the consultation.

“We’re hoping for a high uptake in the community, because not only does this help the environment, but we are also promoting healthier lifestyles and more active travel.”

The plan notes “constraints” in Hitchin’s A505 Cambridge Road, in particular the railway bridge, so the councils will “investigate” an alternative cycle crossing over the railway near the St Michael’s Mount Community Centre.

It adds the only way to accommodate a cycleway through the bridge would mean a “large one-way system” which would need “traffic modelling and substantial political support”.

In addition to the A505 schemes, the councils have suggested turning dead ends into modal filters in Letchworth town centre, so residents can walk or cycle between different areas of the town.

Cyclists on Broadway could see a new cycle track, while a one way system in Station Road and Bridge Road could make space for active travel infrastructure.

In Royston, a segregated cycleway along the A10 could link the town centre with the Melbourn Greenway into Cambridge.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has committed to funding a bridge across the A505 north of Royston – the Hertfordshire and Cambridge boundary – with an “allowance” of £2.5million for the scheme’s base costs.

The councils have also proposed an “inter-urban” Hitchin to Stevenage route along the A602, with traffic calming through Little Wymondley and cycleways near the town edges.