Transport on demand set to arrive in Hertfordshire

1 month ago Wed 17th Mar 2021

Hertfordshire County Council is just one of 17 councils in the country to be awarded a Rural Mobility Fund to trial new on-demand bus services in their area.

The council put a bid in to the Department for Transport last year for funding to run a Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) project in Herts, meaning that new bus routes would be introduced.

The proposed scheme will serve North and East Herts, focusing primarily on Buntingford and the surrounding areas. Travel will be allowed anywhere within this zone, however, passengers will also be able to travel to key points such as hospitals and high streets within the six main towns surrounding the area: Royston, Letchworth, Hitchin, Stevenage, Bishop’s Stortford and Baldock.

The scheme aims to improve transport in North and East Herts and to improve connections between rural areas and town centres, as well as expand access to employment, education, healthcare and shopping. The DRT service will help to reduce social isolation and improve accessibility for transport-disadvantaged people in the focus area, particularly people who have access to neither private cars nor public transport.

The DRT service will be bookable via an app or by telephone. If a passenger books by the app, they will be able to track the vehicle in real-time and see where they will need to walk to in order to board the vehicle. It will also be possible to pre-book both for one-off trips and recurring journeys.  The service will offer passengers shorter waiting times, shorter walking distances to pick-up locations, and shorter average journey times to key destinations.

Mark Kemp, Director of Environment and Infrastructure said: “Better transport links will help open up opportunities for our residents and businesses. We put a good case together for funding, and I am pleased that we were successful in our application. I look forward to feedback on how the new routes are doing – our priority is to ensure any new measures meet the needs of our communities."