Herts Council are consulting on their plans for a new transport strategy for transport improvements and investment in Welwyn Hatfield, Hertsmere and St Albans, in line with forecast development to 2031. This is important for those of us who cycle between LB Barnet and Hertfordshire and our Campaign Group has sent in the following response:
Barnet Cycling Campaign is the local borough group of London Cycling Campaign (LCC). We represent the interests of cyclists living or working in Barnet and aim to expand the opportunities for all to cycle safely.
The group has over 300 members in Barnet of all ages and abilities, including commuter, utility, sport and leisure cyclists. We encourage more active, healthy forms of travel and help to get people out on their bikes and riding on the roads in Barnet. We campaign to make streets healthier, safer and an improved experience for all cyclists, walkers and public transport users.
We are responding to the consultation for South Herts as we feel that residents of Barnet are key stakeholders in the areas Growth and Transport policies and this is recognised in the consultation documents.
Much of the connectivity to London for residents of Hertfordshire passes through Barnet and residents of Barnet have significant connections to South Herts for work, shopping, leisure and schools.
Naturally, as a cycling group, we feel that improvements for cycling are essential for delivering a 21st century integrated transport solution but we do not view this in isolation. Cycling should be combined with measures to support more walking and public transport to deliver modal shift towards sustainable transport, healthy streets and an improved allocation of transport infrastructure.
Most of our response is limited to the main cycling connections between Hertfordshire and Barnet that have been mentioned in the consultation documents. Our focus here is on specific corridors adjacent to Barnet – such as Potters Bar and Borehamwood, but we do support the wider scope in the document.
Extending proposed active travel corridors to Barnet would vastly improve the accessibility of South Herts to London – major towns such as Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City and St Albans are all 9-12 miles from Barnet which is the same as the distance from Barnet to Central London – quite achievable for cycle commuting.
Within this section we outline some general guidance and comments on the Prospectus and Strategy Paper.
Any serious policy towards delivering modal shift will require discouraging private car use, especially for short journeys <1mile. Most of the towns within South Herts are geographically compact with a radius of <1 mile. With the right infrastructure, this can be cycled by anyone 8-80 in under 10 minutes.
- To achieve this, a network of safe, segregated cycling routes should connect town centres, shopping precincts, public transport hubs, parks and schools, but in between this network, the creation of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) is a very inexpensive way of delivering benefits. LTNs prevent through traffic in residential areas, but retain permeability for active travel (bus, walking & cycling). No one is prevented from accessing their homes by car, but through traffic is prevented. The best local example is in the LB of Waltham Forest, which has seen traffic decline whilst increasing high street footfall and making residents more active.
- School Streets are another crucial measure to enhance the safety and quality of life for parents and children in the county.
- Policies for new developments should be based on Public Transport Access levels and include a reduction in car parking allocations.
- Secure cycle parking at all train and bus stations with clear, signed and segregated routes will integrate cycling with Public Transport.
- Higher parking charges for larger and more polluting vehicles.
- Regulation of on-street parking to eliminate footway parking and free road capacity for the benefit of walking, cycling and public transport.
- Adoption of Continuous Footways at side roads within urban areas: these are an effective way to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists whilst improving safety by forcing drivers to slow, keeping junctions clear and improving sight lines.
- Adoption of Dutch style best practices for cycling infrastructure.
- Promotion and support for E-bikes which flatten the topography and extend the reach & appeal of cycling to older demographics.
People decide which mode of transport to use based on convenience, reliability, cost, time, safety and comfort. In summary: for walking, cycling and public transport to be the preferred choices in most cases, they have to be better than using the car, so the Toolbox has to do much more to discourage private car use as well as providing good sustainable alternatives.
Specific connectivity between Barnet and South Herts
PR116: We support improvements to M25 cycle crossings to provide vital links to London via Barnet that avoid the busy main roads. These routes would address key shortfalls in inter urban interactions. In particular we suggest:
- NCR 12 both sides and under the M25 at South Mimms Services needs widening, a hard surface and gradient reductions at the underpass;
- an off carriageway route is needed for cyclists using the Potters Bar Interchange (M25 J24) between Southgate Road, Stagg Hill and The Ridgeway;
- Work with Barnet Council to provide a segregated cycle route between Chipping Barnet and Potters Bar along the A1000.
- Bentley Heath Lane to Baker St: At present there’s a short stretch of muddy path. If it had a decent surface, it would provide a traffic free short cut when riding from Barnet to Potters Bar station
PR119: Potter Bar-London Bus Services.
- Support for an increased bus service on Route 84 between Potters Bar and New Barnet [via High Barnet Station]. [See also comment PR120 on lack of Oyster acceptance on this route]
TFL is currently consulting on reducing the car parking at High Barnet Underground station by 80%. Their own consultation revealed that over 50% of the weekday car park users are from outside the Borough. Much of this traffic originates in Hertfordshire.
Similarly, we support an increased bus service on route 298 as TfL is proposing to close the car park at Cockfosters Station.
PR120: Integrated Ticketing.
- Extending the use of oyster card to include Potters Bar to London would be an improvement.
Package 22: Borehamwood-London Connectivity
SM130: Stirling Corner Junction Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists
- TfL consulted in April 2018 on a proposal to install a Toucan Crossing of the A1 immediately south of Stirling Corner, which we support. This was due to be provided in 2019, but is apparently awaiting budget availability. A similar crossing is necessary immediately north of Stirling Corner for cyclists travelling towards Barnet.
SM131: Stirling Corner Junction Improvements for vehicles
- We support implementing traffic signals on the northern side of the junction providing it includes a Toucan crossing of both A1 carriageways.
SM132: A5 Cycleway
- We support this – it could provide a more useful and safer alternative to the A41 cycle route, where a fatality occurred at the M1 slip road crossing.
- Safe cycle routes are needed around the Brockley Hill roundabout and the Elstree Hill South roundabout.
- Pedestrian access to RNOH from the bus stop on the east side of the road needs to be addressed. Currently bus passengers, many of whom have mobility problems, have to cross a very busy fast road on the brow of a hill, with no crossing.
PR133: Rowley Lane Cycleway (Barnet)
- We support the proposal to develop the route along Rowley Lane as part of a cycle route to Barnet Hospital.
PR134: A1/Rowley Lane Junction Improvements
- Safe cycle routes are needed around the gyratory on the west side of the A1.
- The current advisory cycle lanes along the A5135 Rowley Lane north should be replaced by off-carriageway cycle tracks.
- The A1 cycle track has poor visibility for northbound cyclists crossing the slip road and should be moved nearer to the A1 to allow cyclists to see traffic entering the slip road.
The junction with Rowley Lane south from the A1 bridge needs remodelling to include a dedicated right-turn lane (Barnet). In conjunction, there could be a safe route between Newark Green and Rowley Lane across the A1 Bridge. [As Newark Green and the connecting roads are currently a less-intimidating cycle route to Borehamwood town centre than via Elstree way]
PR135 – Borehamwood-London Bus Services
The 107 bus route spans between Edgware, Borehamwood, Barnet Hospital, High Barnet Station and New Barnet. We support plans to maintain/increase this route and the 292 to Edgware.
NEW – A suggestion to improve connectivity by developing a cycle route between South Mimms and London Colney. This would connect the NCR12 Route [mentioned in PK116] with the proposed Active Travel corridor covered by PK31 and allow wider network benefits.
Connecting Barnet to Herts by this route [e.g.: along St Albans Road] would open up options for safe cycling towards St Albans and the rest of the South Herts network. This route would be safer and shorter than current routes today via either
At present, the two current routes are either:
Potters Bar – Vet College – Colney Heath – Alban Way – 13 miles, +434ft; or
Galley Lane – Shenley – London Colney 12 miles, +487ft
The Colney Heath route has fewer hills, but a nasty crossing of the A414 at ‘The Longabout’ (the foot bridge needs to be upgraded for cycling).
On the London Colney route we avoid Napsbury Lane & A1081 and use the traffic light controlled A414 roundabout and then back routes into St Albans.
14 February 2020