3. SW Herts today: (e) Moving

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Good North-South links

  • 9 out of 10 households own at least one carConnected by fast and efficient links to London and the Midlands by the M1, A1, M25, Midland Main Line and West Coast Main Line, as well as stops on the London Underground and Overground network.
  • The Abbey Line connecting St Albans and Watford has significant future potential and a more frequent service would help improve local north south links.
  • Residents have highlighted the importance of continued easy accessibility to leisure and employment opportunities in London

Poor East-West links

  • East-west movements, particularly for public transport, are however poor and focussed on the M25 and A414.
  • East-west travel is not possible by train, whilst bus services are infrequent and slow.

Rail and road congestion

  • Road congestion is a particular issue along eastwest routes where there isn’t a realistic public transport alternative.
  • Rail congestion is a common issue at peak times, and likely to increase with growing demand.
  • A number of rail lines are forecast to be operating at over capacity by 2031, especially the Midland Main Line to St Pancras, West Coast Main Line suburban services and Great Northern services to Moorgate, although it is unclear how the Covid pandemic will affect these forecasts.
97% of the population live within 30 minutes of a town centre by public transportBy 2036 there is predicted to be an increase in travel time of 43% in the morning rush hour63% of trips in Hertfordshire are less than 5 miles

Cycling connections

  • More than half of trips made in Hertfordshire are less than 5 miles, a distance that many could do on a bicycle with the right infrastructure in place.
  • Cycling improvements around Hemel Hempstead and an off-road cycleway connecting St Albans to Luton via Harpenden, and along the A405 from St Albans to Leavesden are helping to improve the otherwise patchy and variable quality cycle network. However these routes remain underused.

Car reliance

  • Predicted 25% increase in trips originating in Hertfordshire by 2036Public transport in rural parts of SW Herts is poor. Car dependency in the area is therefore very high, both for local and longer trips. Car use has increased as a result of the pandemic.
  • Discussions are underway to deliver an east-west Mass Rapid Transit scheme, broadly following the route of the A414 from Hemel Hempstead to Harlow, to help support a move away from reliance on the private car.
  • Whilst there is a slow move towards greener movement with electric cars and shared travel options such as car clubs, there is a lack of supporting infrastructure to encourage greater uptake.


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Good North-South links

  • 9 out of 10 households own at least one carConnected by fast and efficient links to London and the Midlands by the M1, A1, M25, Midland Main Line and West Coast Main Line, as well as stops on the London Underground and Overground network.
  • The Abbey Line connecting St Albans and Watford has significant future potential and a more frequent service would help improve local north south links.
  • Residents have highlighted the importance of continued easy accessibility to leisure and employment opportunities in London

Poor East-West links

  • East-west movements, particularly for public transport, are however poor and focussed on the M25 and A414.
  • East-west travel is not possible by train, whilst bus services are infrequent and slow.

Rail and road congestion

  • Road congestion is a particular issue along eastwest routes where there isn’t a realistic public transport alternative.
  • Rail congestion is a common issue at peak times, and likely to increase with growing demand.
  • A number of rail lines are forecast to be operating at over capacity by 2031, especially the Midland Main Line to St Pancras, West Coast Main Line suburban services and Great Northern services to Moorgate, although it is unclear how the Covid pandemic will affect these forecasts.
97% of the population live within 30 minutes of a town centre by public transportBy 2036 there is predicted to be an increase in travel time of 43% in the morning rush hour63% of trips in Hertfordshire are less than 5 miles

Cycling connections

  • More than half of trips made in Hertfordshire are less than 5 miles, a distance that many could do on a bicycle with the right infrastructure in place.
  • Cycling improvements around Hemel Hempstead and an off-road cycleway connecting St Albans to Luton via Harpenden, and along the A405 from St Albans to Leavesden are helping to improve the otherwise patchy and variable quality cycle network. However these routes remain underused.

Car reliance

  • Predicted 25% increase in trips originating in Hertfordshire by 2036Public transport in rural parts of SW Herts is poor. Car dependency in the area is therefore very high, both for local and longer trips. Car use has increased as a result of the pandemic.
  • Discussions are underway to deliver an east-west Mass Rapid Transit scheme, broadly following the route of the A414 from Hemel Hempstead to Harlow, to help support a move away from reliance on the private car.
  • Whilst there is a slow move towards greener movement with electric cars and shared travel options such as car clubs, there is a lack of supporting infrastructure to encourage greater uptake.


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