Cycles routes at heart of Letchworth's future transport plan

PUBLISHED: 06:57 23 January 2020

Letchworth has been earmarked for new cycle infrastructure under new transport plans. Picture: Archant

Letchworth has been earmarked for new cycle infrastructure under new transport plans. Picture: Archant

Archant

Upgraded cycles routes have been placed at the centre of future transport plans for Letchworth, in new draft proposals drawn up by Herts County Council.

Herts county council has pledged greater connectivity between Letchworth and neighbouring towns. Picture: ArchantHerts county council has pledged greater connectivity between Letchworth and neighbouring towns. Picture: Archant

Residents are invited to have their say on the plans published this month, as part of HCC's North Central Hertfordshire Growth and Transport Plan.

Letchworth residents can expect a mass upgrade of cycle infrastructure, including the renovation of the existing National Cycle Route 12 which connects the town with Stevenage.

A dedicated new cycle route alongside the A505 with connections to Baldock has also been announced, as well as improved networks through the spine of Letchworth - aimed at connecting the eastern industrial estate where employment is concentrated.

The plans are estimated to cost between £6m and £13.5m and, if approved, will take between two and 10 years to complete.

Other priorities in the plan include safer pedestrian crossings on the A505, and pledges to improve bus services connecting north Letchworth and the town centre.

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Michael Muir, county councillor for Baldock and Letchworth East, said the plans have been "a long time in the making", and welcomed the idea of a "cycle route from Baldock through to Letchworth, and on to Hitchin and Stevenage".

"As it stands, cycling along the A505 through to Letchworth, Hitchin and Stevenage is a nightmare - so a dedicated cycleway is a must-have," he said.

Cllr Muir also raised concerns, however, about the single-carriageway leading from the St Paul's Church to the A1(M) roundabout for Junction 9, which he says has become "chockablock during rush hour".

"Making it a dual-carriageway would ease the traffic, and this needs to be done urgently. I know from queries and suggestions through the consultation that there are calls for it".

County councillor Terry Hone, who represents the Letchworth South division, said the strategy demonstrates HCC's "commitment to improving the travel events of our residents."

"While cycling routes and bus connectivity, especially to and from railway stations, are high on the agenda for Letchworth," he said, "we also need to ensure that bottlenecks like the A1(M) morning southbound to Junction 8, Letchworth Gate during the rush hour periods, and Junction 9 northbound off the A1(M), continue to be priorities when it comes to improving the safe driving of residents and visitors."

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

Public consultation closes on March 30.

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