Over the border: Herts residents can have their say on the Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transit (HERT)

News / Mon 22nd Nov 2021 at 07:49am

HERTFORDSHIRE County Council today launches a public engagement exercise, seeking feedback on its vision to reimagine the county’s transport network through a new east-west rapid transit link. 

Hertfordshire residents are invited to explore a virtual exhibition, attend online events and complete an online survey about the proposed Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transit (HERT).

The HERT aims to deliver a step-change in the passenger transport network through an accessible, reliable and affordable mass transit system, connecting Watford and Hemel Hempstead in the west to Harlow (west Essex) in the east.

The HERT will connect people easily to where they live, work and visit and will support economic growth, improve the environment and positively impact existing and new communities.

Hertfordshire already experiences significant traffic congestion and poor journey time reliability due to the reliance on cars. Over the next 15 years, there are plans for around 100,000 new jobs and up to 100,000 new homes across the county to meet local needs, which means there will be further demand on the already congested road and rail network.

The HERT will provide a new and sustainable cross-county transport system that encourages people out of their cars and on to a greener, convenient and more affordable public transport service.

A key feature of the HERT will be the creation of better links with bus services, walking and cycling routes, creating an integrated transport network with better access to the rail network and wider links to domestic and international airline travel at Luton and Stansted airports. It will also unlock new job opportunities and provide businesses with greater access to skilled people in the county and beyond. Hertfordshire County Council and Essex County Council will work closely together to ensure rapid and seamless journeys can be made across the entire network.

This is the first phase of public engagement on the scheme and the council is inviting feedback on its vision for HERT. A virtual exhibition will be available online from Thursday 18 November to Friday 28 January 2022 where participants can find out more about the scheme, attend one of the online exhibition events and share their views by completing the online survey.

Richard Roberts, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Chair of the Hertfordshire Growth Board, said:

“Creating a cleaner, greener, healthier Hertfordshire, where everyone has the opportunity to live and work in thriving communities, is central to our plans for the future of the county.

“To deliver this vision for Hertfordshire, we must have the transport network to support it; an affordable, sustainable network that will help reduce our carbon footprint by encouraging people out of their cars and connect our communities like never before.

“To make our ambition a success, it first and foremost must meet the needs of the people of Hertfordshire, which is why I would encourage all residents to take part in the consultation to help shape the development of HERT.”

Phil Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said:

“The County Council’s A414 Corridor Strategy highlighted the transport-related challenges impacting our communities and the environment, particularly the increasing traffic congestion.

“The HERT will deliver a modern, accessible transport system that offers a viable alternative to car travel, bringing lasting benefits to Hertfordshire, Essex and beyond.

“This is an exciting, pioneering project that could effect real change in the future and I encourage everyone to explore the virtual exhibition and complete the online survey.”

Lesley Wagland OBE, Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning at Essex County Council, said: 

“Economic growth and new housing must be supported by sustainable transport of good quality that provides fast, frequent and reliable connections to key locations and opportunities.

“Together, the benefits of an integrated rapid transit network in Hertfordshire, into Harlow, and perhaps even further to locations such as Stansted Airport, could be huge.

“The HERT is at an early stage but now is the time to start thinking how this scheme can support our vision of inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”

For more information about how to get involved, including details of online exhibition events, please go to: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/HERT

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9 Comments for Over the border: Herts residents can have their say on the Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transit (HERT):

Paul Riddle
2021-11-22 08:50:10

Excellent idea it was a great shame that 60 years ago Beaching closed the railway line that followed virtually the same route.

Neil Warner-Baker
2021-11-22 09:07:59

Im so glad that the "all seeing eye" of our Editor has picked up on this 'over the border' story, a browse of the Hertfordshire Mercury.. https://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/news/hertfordshire-news/hert-every-key-location-hertfordshires-6233357 shows a far more ominous future... And I quote “There are also plans to build more than 100,000 new homes in Hertfordshire over the next 15 years and with that another 100,000 jobs. It will mean more people travelling, more cars on the road and more congestion - until, it's hoped, more and more people start using the HERT system if and when it launches.“ With the HERTFORDSHIRE Transport links being planned to go through Gilston and then through Harlow onto the new M11 junction. There is still time, if we act quickly for the people and businesses of Harlow to make serious representations to Harlow Council to STOP THE STORT CROSSING to avoid the insanity of turning our roads into a congested Rat run of through traffic with no tangable benefit to our town. Plans are also afoot for a Harlow bypass which would negate its need, so let's see that before allowing immature decisions made.

2021-11-22 09:48:58

Herts and East Herts have long had intentions of dumping its traffic, pollution and waste on Harlow, pushing major road and rail developments through Harlow as a conduit to the M11 and overloading the town with sewage and surface water run off is an ambition that needs to be stopped. We get no benefit, Harlow Council can stop this by stopping the Pye Corner to Edinburgh Way Eastern Crossing, the development of the central crossing at the cost of the River Valley environment and refusing permission for the change in structure of the River Way rail bridge. Essex County Council continues to think of Harlow simply as a route through, (wasting millions in the process ) rather than a place that needs a outer ring road with park and ride to project the quality of life here this thinking and Herts projects need to be challenged.

Steven snell
2021-11-22 10:34:32

Will this benefit smaller villages such as church langley

Nicholas Taylor
2021-11-22 10:44:03

So when are the residents of Harlow and indeed Essex going to be consulted? Will Harlow Council only be able to influence what is being proposed, which is exactly what has already been said about the developments to the North of the Harlow? Councils will be desperate to try and mitigate the travel arrangements of the tens of thousands of new residents living in the South East of England and there is no doubt that radical solutions will be needed. However this must not be to the detriment of the environment. The ill conceived proposed Stort River crossings do not bode well for future planning applications.

2021-11-22 11:09:51

Steven, how?? No, the only beneficiaries are property developers that currently donate millions to the Conservative Party. The idea of expansion and build build build regardless is what is trashing the environment and planet. Even Herts County Council says, "In a meeting on Thursday (November 18) members of HCC discussed the plans and addressed some concerns, the biggest being the impact the new system will have on congestion. There are plans to build more than 100,000 new homes in Hertfordshire over the next 15 years and with that, another 100,000 jobs which will mean more people travelling, more cars on the road and more congestion." Highways to hell. Follow the money, much of it goes to the ruling class and overseas investors, it's virtually always profit before people.

Nicholas Taylor
2021-11-22 11:53:05

Just as a footnote, the Chief Executive of the Housing Association Places for People who are one of the partners in the Harlow North scheme has risen again to the top of the Salary list for Chief Executives. His total salary in 2018 was £591, 256, but in 2020/21 was only £483,089. The Association has 219,000 homes across the country. The fact is we have a bus service to many of the towns on the proposed route, a rapid system is what it implies, it has few stops and much of it will not actually be close enough to where people live and work to make it a real alternative to using a car.

David Forman
2021-11-22 18:10:45

HCC say "the HERT will provide a...more affordable public transport service". How will that happen with private bus and rail companies that must satisfy the profit demands of their shareholders?

Kim Oconnor
2021-11-24 10:43:05

Save our stort.

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