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Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transport (HERT) Receives Overwhelming Public Support

Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transport (HERT) Receives Overwhelming Public Support

Nearly 2,000 people responded to a public consultation on the proposed HERT passenger transport network, with 75% of respondents expressing support or strong support for the scheme.

The HERT would run along the A414 corridor from Watford and Hemel Hempstead in the west to Harlow (Essex) in the east. Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) agreed to develop a detailed proposal for the HERT in October 2019 and has since been working with district and borough councils and key stakeholders.

The Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transit (HERT) will be a new, sustainable passenger transport network than can carry more people than a car but will be more convenient and reliable than a traditional bus.

A ten-week public engagement exercise, including a virtual exhibition space, webpage, animated film, and online events to share information about the proposals, resulted in 75,000 visits to the website and 1,700 views of the exhibition.

The full results of the public engagement and consultation showed the following:

  • A combined 68% of respondents said they would be likely to use the HERT once completed.
  • Support for HERT was strongest among young people, with 90% of 18-24 year-olds supporting or strongly supporting the vision, despite being underrepresented in overall responses.
  • Reliable journey times and service frequency were the two largest priorities when respondents were asked what features they would like to see on the HERT.
  • Infrequent services, unreliable journey times, and slow journey times were the three most common issues with the current local transport system.

It will also connect with north-south rail lines to create new sustainable journey options across the whole of Hertfordshire and beyond.

Cllr Phil Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “After extensive engagement with the public the appetite for improved west to east public transport links could not be clearer. We will now take these views forward as we seek to engage with funding partners, including the Department for Transport.

“We are committed to the HERT’s ambitious vision to deliver a step-change in the passenger transport network across the whole of Hertfordshire, West Essex and beyond.”

All feedback from the public engagement period is informing HCC’s development work, with plans in place to engage further with young people.

Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transit (HERT) is a proposed new passenger transport network that would connect Watford and Hemel Hempstead in the west with Harlow (Essex) in the east. The HERT would run along the A414 corridor and would be a high-quality, high-frequency, and reliable transport system that would provide a viable alternative to car travel.

The HERT is designed to support economic growth, improve the environment, and positively impact existing and new communities. It would also help to reduce congestion on the A414 and other roads in the area.

The HERT is still in the early stages of development, but Hertfordshire County Council is committed to working with all stakeholders to deliver the scheme. The council is currently carrying out a detailed study to assess the feasibility and cost of the HERT, and a public consultation is expected to take place in the coming months.

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