Hatfield and St. Albans Station Travel Plan

Context

The station travel plan covers three stations: St Albans City; St Albans Abbey; and Hatfield. Hatfield station is situated just over 1km from the town centre and 2km from the nearest business park. The station is on the East Coast Main Line and serves 1,768,214 passengers, being operated by First Capital Connect.

St Albans City is the busiest rail station in Hertfordshire, serving 6.4 million passengers on the Midland Main Line and Thameslink route between London Kings Cross and Luton, for links to the North. The station is situated within 1km of St Albans City Centre and is operated by First Capital Connect.

St Albans Abbey station is 1km away from St Albans City and within 1km of St Albans City Centre. The station serves 222,482 passengers and is operated by London Midland linking St Albans with Watford Junction (known as the 'Abbey Line'). The Abbey Line launched a Community Rail Partnership in 2005.

Need for a Travel Plan

The travel plan has brought together the resources of the train operating companies, local authorities and bus companies to improve travel conditions to/from the stations in order to encourage rail use over non-sustainable transport.

For Hatfield station, the main issues to be addressed in the station travel plan are high levels of on-street parking in nearby residential areas caused by rail users and lacking infrastructure for public transport services, cycle parking and walking/cycling routes to the station.

For St Albans, the City station's main issues to be addressed are congestion around the station in peak travel hours and improvement of a cycling link to the station. The Abbey station's issue is that of providing improved frequency, which would allow for increased coordination with local bus services.

Description of the process

A series of meetings with key stakeholders have been held alongside station visits and data collection and analyses from a variety of sources. Five SMART objectives were set and to meet these, a number of short, medium and long term projects (to include Hatfield Station Interchange, improved walking/cycling routes to the stations, and marketing/publicity needs) were identified.

The progress of the projects in the action plan will be continually monitored and the SMART objectives measured at various intervals after of the ATOC Station Travel Plan Launch in June 2009 (See Objectives and Action Plan).

The Station Travel Plan will remain ongoing within Hertfordshire County Council after the ATOC involvement ends. The plan will help to co-ordinate the efforts of the Urban Transport Plans for Hatfield and St Albans, the St Albans Abbey Community Rail Partnership and Quality Network Partnership in St Albans, and will also include county-wide Intalink improvements and increased use of Plusbus.

Action Plan highlights

  • Hatfield Station Interchange: The project is ongoing to improve the interchange between bus and other modes of transport and rail at Hatfield station. In the short term, 2 additional bus stops are proposed on the A1000 to create additional bus stop capacity in the vicinity of the station as the current provision is inadequate for the number of buses serving the station. There are plans to improve the cycle parking provision, provide better cycle and pedestrian links to the station. In the longer term there is an aspiration to provide a high quality bus interchange next to the station.
  • St Albans - Alban Way Cycle link: This cycle link is the route of an old disused rail line between St Albans and Hatfield. The link between St Albans City station and the old track routing is poorly defined and has a lack of cycle crossing facilities. The scheme, valued at £40,000 will improve the situation by implementing cycle crossing facilities to encourage more cyclists to use this route.

Key lessons learned

  • The STP includes 3 stations on 3 separate lines with two Train Operating Companies. Although these stations are in proximity to each other and have some connectivity, with Hatfield and St Albans City both serving London markets, individual STP's for each station would offer more scope for improvement and longer term actions and measures.
  • Identification of funding opportunities, measures and ownership for objectives, and longer term delivery plans needed earlier co-ordination
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