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Improving passenger transport – Hertfordshire Essex RapidTransit

Published: 27 November 2023Improving passenger transport – Hertfordshire Essex RapidTransitHERT-image-3

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The Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transit (HERT) will be a new, sustainable passenger transport network. It will carry more people than a car but will be more convenient and reliable than a traditional bus.

The HERT will deliver a step-change in the passenger transport network through an accessible, reliable and affordable east-west transit system which connects people easily to where they live, work and visit. The HERT will support economic growth, improve the environment and positively impact our existing and new communities. It will also connect with north-south rail lines to create new sustainable journey options across the whole of Hertfordshire and beyond.

Public engagement

Last year, Hertfordshire County Council held a 10-week public engagement about the HERT. They shared information about the vision, route, aims and potential benefits of the HERT, giving local people the opportunity to share their thoughts on the proposals.

Hertfordshire County Council has completed its analysis of the feedback received during the public engagement period and can now share the results. You can view a summary of the findings here.

Some of the headline findings from the public engagement period were:


The roads from Hemel Hempstead to Harlow currently experience significant traffic congestion and poor journey time reliability.

Hertfordshire County Council is supporting the district and borough councils in planning for more than 100,000 new homes and jobs to make sure we meet our needs over the next 15 years.

This means there will be a greater demand on schools, health and social care and on our already congested road and rail network. To achieve the plans, requires a sustainable passenger transport system that puts people first.

In the A414 Corridor Strategy (produced with district and borough councils), it was identified that a mass rapid transit system was fundamental to greener and more efficient travel.

Where will it go?

The HERT will form an east-west transport corridor that runs from Watford and Hemel Hempstead in the west to Harlow (Essex) in the east. The proposed HERT corridor will be split into three sections:

It’s likely that these sections will be delivered in phases as funding becomes available and in line with planned development. What type of vehicle will it be? The vision for The HERT is to provide zero-emission vehicles with a modern, comfortable and spacious design that is easy and accessible for all passengers to use.

The details around how the HERT will operate, the exact route it will take, and the type of vehicles it will use will be explored through detailed technical studies and further public engagement at a later stage.

Scheme objectives

The three key ambitions are:

1. Delivering jobs and economic growth

The HERT will make travel easier to access current and future job opportunities and will provide businesses with greater access to skilled people.

2. Protecting and improving our environment

3. Supporting vibrant communities

The HERT will provide a convenient and competitively priced system that will cater for all ages and abilities in our diverse communities.

Making the HERT a reality

A project of this scale will take a number of years to develop and will require substantial investment from both local and central government, along with private sector partners.

Hertfordshire County Council is in the early stage of developing proposals on the HERT and there are a number of steps to go through before it can be built.

Hertfordshire County Council will consult with the public at each stage. There will be ongoing engagement with local communities, civic groups, businesses, and other organisations throughout the duration of the scheme, ensuring the widest possible spread of voices are heard throughout the process.

Next steps

Hertfordshire County Council is currently producing a prospectus for the HERT that outlines the mission to provide an east to west mass transit route. This will set out the plan for the development and delivery of a transit route that will facilitate economic growth, the movement of people through sustainable travel measures and reducing pressure on the current transport network. The prospectus will be used in conversations with potential funding partners, including the Department for Transport.

The HERT forms part of the county council’s A414 corridor strategy – a package of proposals designed to improve travel between the east and west of the county and reduce car dependency. As part of this, the HERT is aligned with Hertfordshire’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) schemes, as well as the proposals for the Watford to Croxley Link.

Above all, there is a strong commitment to the HERT’s ambitious vision to deliver a step-change in the passenger transport network across the whole of Hertfordshire and beyond.

Hertfordshire County Council has completed its analysis of the feedback received during the public engagement period and can now share the results. You can view a summary of the findings here.