Herts-Essex Rapid Transit
Suggestions for an east – west transit connecting town centres, suburban areas and major development sites across Hertfordshire’s central belt were first made in the 1980s, when some local interests proposed a Colne Valley Transit linking Watford and Hertford. This was studied in the 1990s by the County Council as the Central Herts Transit but no practical project emerged.
The idea developed as the Herts Orbital Transit project, a state of the art tramway from Broxbourne to Watford, routed through Hertford, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and St Albans, providing high quality public transport through a corridor with a population of about 300,000 and serving the town centres, other commercial and activity centres, the University of Hertfordshire and residential areas. The concept is now the Hertfordshire to Essex Rapid Transit (HERT) which links onward to Essex, and is supported by the Hertforshire Infrastructure and Development Board and the Hertfordshire Growth Board.
It would function as an additional spine for several ConnectedCity, capturing the resulting uplift in land values. Its impact on the development potential of Hertfordshire’s ConnectedCities would be enormous.
Greater Hertford would open up dramatically by connecting its two rail stations which are currently on either side of the town centre, and gain potential pedsheds on the new line to Welwyn.
Welwyn-Hatfied could incorporate a new green quarter to the east of Welwyn , a new green town at Cole Green and new green quarter to the west of Hatfield.
Greater St Albans would benefit greatly from linking the Abbey line to the main station, and from opportunities for a new green quarter at Hill End and a new green town at Smallford.
Greater Watford’s stations would operate in a more coordinated manner, and Bricket Wood could become a new green town around the new station, incorporating a community forest.