Hertfordshire-Essex Rapid Transit plans a work in progress


Hertfordshire County Council has announced ambitions for a new sustainable transport link - the Hertfordshire-Essex Rapid Transit (HERT) - although the authority admitted it has not decided on what the link will actually be.

Whether the HERT will be a tram or a rapid bus system for instance, as well as the exact route it will take is still to be decided based on detailed technical studies and a public engagement process in autumn.

An image of what the service might look like

The council aims to improve the passenger transport network through 'an accessible, reliable and affordable east-west system' to help cope with major expansion in the area as well as provide more sustainable travel.

In the next 15 years, Hertfordshire is planning for more than 100,000 new jobs and more than 100,000 new homes to meet local needs.

The council said: 'The HERT will be a Mass Rapid Transit system – the first of its kind in Hertfordshire. As a new, sustainable passenger transport network, the HERT will carry people in much bigger numbers than a typical private car and will provide greater convenience, reliability and frequency than a traditional bus service.'

A possible model for the system could be Belfast's Glider - a special bus service that connects into the wider Translink bus and rail networks to provide a convenient, integrated network.

'One of the key features of the project will be the development of transport hubs, connecting planned cycling and walking routes to the HERT network, creating a seamless integrated system, and helping to reduce congestion and pollution and improving the air quality for the residents of Hertfordshire,' the council said.

Richard Roberts, council leader and chair of the Hertfordshire Growth Board, said: 'Sustainable travel is one of the most important aspects of our plans to create a greener Hertfordshire, and investment in this new transport initiative to connect West Hertfordshire to West Essex marks a clear step forward in achieving our ambitions.

'The new public transport system will provide a fast, reliable and convenient way to travel across the county, and support our ambitions to enable all residents to live healthy, fulfilling lives in thriving, prosperous communities.'

The council is currently creating the Strategic Outline Business Case for the project to submit to government and in the autumn it will be undertaking public engagement on the principles and vision behind the system.

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