Transport
Group Membership
The group is lead by Alan Falconer

REMIT

Trains, buses, taxis, traffic congestion and control, parking

ACTIONS

To date the main emphasis has been on buses - information and service.

Contact has been made with:

Association of Public Transport Users Bedford-London [Neil Middleton, APTU Chairman]
Young Liberals aka SADLY [Andrew Crofts, campaigns manager]
Herts CC Passenger Transport Unit Feedback
Arriva Customer Services South East
Unobus
Hertsdirect Email Alert [now on their circulation list]

Attempts to make contact with local authority representatives have been less successful but the following is still to be tried:

Herts CC Highways & Transport Panel [Stuart Pile, Cabinet member]

Herts library service has been encouraged to reinstate the provision of copies of the printed bus timetables in the public library.

Further action is required to establish how the public can be made aware of forthcoming changes to bus services.

The management of Brayleys car showroom has been asked to avoid parking and unloading their car carriers in Luton Road near the junction with Townsend Lane as this dangerously obstructs vision of oncoming traffic. This issue has been drawn to the attention of the local authority.

Both local weekly newspapers are regularly scanned for information on transport issues.

A ‘watching brief’ is kept on transport implications of issues on which other working groups are leading, eg Luton airport expansion plans.
2016/17 Annual Report
During 2016, the Society’s Transport Group has encouraged and publicised plans for a new community bus service, which has come to fruition in the shape of the Harpenden Hopper, whose operation, described on page 12 of the Winter newsletter, began in mid-February.

After its first week in service, Hopper operations manager Simon George reported very positive feedback from those using the bus, as well as would-be passengers who had seen it en route and expressed interest in the timetable. He said the intention was, where feasible, to display the timetable at regular Hopper stopping points, which would itself help to publicise the service.

At a meeting of the St Albans Bus Users Forum in November, many of the detailed issues raised were concerned more with St Albans than Harpenden. But the forum nevertheless provides us with useful points of contact with representatives of the bus companies and Herts County Council. Lobbying for the continuation of subsidised services for lesser used routes proved unsuccessful. 

An unresolved issue needing to be pursued, for non car-owning Harpenden residents especially, is the provision of bus service(s) to Watford General Hospital. Meanwhile the group endeavours to keep track of changes to existing bus services, obtaining copies of amended timetables for scrutiny at the public library and town hall.

The group continues to maintain a watching brief on changes to rail services, through membership of the Association of Passenger Transport Users (APTU), which continues to monitor the performance of Govia Thameslink and to produce its regular reports on developments including planned changes to the timetable, station staffing and electronic ticketing. It is tempting to say Govia’s poor - to put it mildly - operating performance of recent months can only get better. There is some hope for that as its new rolling stock gets settled in.

The ‘Harpark Group’ (previously the Avenues Working Group) continues its work in developing a comprehensive parking strategy for the town. It lobbied, successfully, on the grounds of practicality, to prevent the introduction of a controlled parking zone (CPZ) in the Avenues area.

A response was provided to the Herts Transport Vision 2050 consultation, setting out the HCC estimates of future traffic volumes and other issues throughout the county and the consequent need to reduce reliance on private cars and encourage moves to more sustainable modes of transport.