When the FCC takes the powers which come to it under the new Cities Act, one of the main functions will be that it will have powers to run and provide local transport services. These have to integrate with the plans for the whole county and beyond. Hertfordshire CC is finalising its Transport Vision. The consultation document states:
“If new developments are not built with sustainability and sustainable transport in mind then attendant pressures on local areas would emerge. Particularly, this would involve failing to influence modal shift soon after the movement to a development and ingraining unsustainable habits on the parts of residents”
This is precisely what ConnectedCites seeks to avoid. The FCC will be able to generate the capital investment needed to increase public transport service frequency by development of railway lands around stations, and the running cost for the TOCs will be covered by revenue from increased ridership from the new population.
Initially more, smaller trains trains will run between the existing services. These would not continue into London where there is a lack of capacity at peak times, but would terminate outside London e.g. Alexandra Palace and use existing or new crossovers, such as north of the Welwyn Viaduct bottleneck.
As the national Rail Technical Strategy is implemented, so the running or RailTaxis and other on-demand travel services will be possible.
The new transport Hub where rail, buses, PRT, etc. will interconnect, should be situated closer to Stevenage rail station. Important development space in the centre of the town will thereby be released, as well as easing interchanges. It is important to note that for efficient use of space buses will pick up and put down at the Hub, but will not park or be serviced there. Those functions will take place a depot elsewhere, in the employment area of a pedshed.
Bus (and later PRT / driverless taxis) routes will serve the towns but will be be more focussed on the stations. As the inter-town rail service improves they will tend to serve each town rather than link between towns. Stevenage as the hub town will have development along the tentacles within 10 minutes of its hub, and these services will be particularly frequent.
Walking & Cycling
The existing networks of pedestrian routes will be made more comfortable by installation of covered canopies to provide protection in all weathers. The cost will be covered by them being partly fitted with photovoltaic cells producing an income over thirty years. A similar approach can be taken with cycleways.