One thing everyone in St Albans can agree on is that the ancient city was not designed for today's modern traffic, so a new partnership has been formed to bring together everyone who has a role to play in improving transport in the city and reducing congestion.
Known as Network St Albans, the partnership is the first of its kind and has been formed as a result of the Transport Act 2008 which offers new opportunities for local authorities to work with transport operators through the creation of 'Quality Network Partnerships'.
The partners involved are:
• Hertfordshire County Council (which includes the Passenger Transport Unit and Hertfordshire Highways)
• St Albans City and District Council
• First Capital Connect
• London Midland
• Arriva the Shires and Essex
• Centrebus Limited
• Metroline Travel Limited
• Universitybus Limited and Uno Buses Limited
• University of Hertfordshire
Stephen Joseph, the Executive Director of Campaign for Better Transport (CBT), is chairing the partnership and is also a local resident of St Albans. CBT are helping to facilitate the QNP and provide guidance where possible.
Stephen Joseph said: "Hertfordshire is a congested place at the best of times, with some of the busiest roads in the country. North-south routes dominate and east-west movement can be difficult by any mode, but particularly passenger transport. St Albans lies in the thick of this.
"The partnership aims to improve quality of life in St Albans by working together to improve transport around and into the city and to provide a viable alternative to car travel. There's no single solution to St Albans' traffic problems - the partners involved carry out good individual work in St Albans, but it's only by working together that we will be able to make a real difference and reduce congestion."
As well as building on projects that are already underway, the partnership will start by reviewing St Albans' entire bus and rail network to identify areas in most need of improvement. Smaller schemes that are already underway include creating new maps for bus stops to make bus routes, and links to other forms of public transport, clearer. The partnership will also give consideration to the impact of the existing transport network on the environment and consider sustainable green travel solutions that will reduce pollution and our carbon footprint.
Stephen Joseph added: "The Romans gave us an effective, planned transport system in the first century. The challenge for Network St Albans is - can we do the same in the twenty first?"
Photo caption from left to right: -
1. Michael Finn – General Manager of UNO Buses
2. Philip Waters – Secretary and Registrar of the University of Hertfordshire
3. Stuart Pile – Executive Member for Transport and Rural Affairs for Hertfordshire County Council
4. Stephen Joseph – Executive Director of Campaign for Better Transport
5. Cllr Robert Donald – St Albans District Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Leadership and Communication (and Chair of the LSP)
6. Brian Drury – Commercial Director of Arriva the Shires and Essex
7. Michael Jennings – Business Manager, Arriva the Shires and Essex
8. Brendon Smyth – Service Delivery Manager, Arriva the Shires and Essex
9. Larry Heyman – Integration and Partnership Manager for First Capital Connect
10. Jed Patel – Relief Supervisor/Driver for Uno
Network St Albans aims to improve quality of life in St Albans by improving transport around the city and reducing congestion. It includes representatives from the district and county councils (including the Passenger Transport Unit and Hertfordshire Highways), bus and rail operators and the University of Hertfordshire.
Stephen Joseph is the official spokesperson for the partnership.
Tel: 0207 613 0743.