Tram service planned for St Albans link

PUBLISHED: 08:50 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 May 2010

St Albans MP Anne Main with Lord Adonis and leader of Herts County Council Robert Gordon

St Albans MP Anne Main with Lord Adonis and leader of Herts County Council Robert Gordon

A TRAM service is set to run along the Abbey Line under plans unveiled by the Transport Secretary and Herts County Council (HCC) early this morning (Friday). The scheme, which will now go out to consultation, would provide between two and three trams an h

A TRAM service is set to run along the Abbey Line under plans unveiled by the Transport Secretary and Herts County Council (HCC) early this morning (Friday).

The scheme, which will now go out to consultation, would provide between two and three trams an hour running between the St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction stations, compared to the current service which stops at each station every 45 minutes.

Secretary of State for Transport, Andrew Adonis, along with HCC leader Robert Gordon and the council's executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Stuart Pile, revealed the plans on the platform of the St Albans Abbey station at around 7am.

Under the plans Network Rail will hand over the service, which currently carries around 450,000 passengers a year, to HCC which will receive government funding to run it.

A passing loop will need to be installed at Bricket Wood, where there was one originally. This will provide a half-hourly service along the line, but if another passing loop is created then the service will run every 20 minutes.

Lord Adonis said: "To encourage more people to use public transport, it's vital we give passengers a service which suits them. The proposed new trams would provide a more regular service and I am glad to be working with HCC to take forward these exciting plans."

He continued: "The improvements would offer travellers the prospect of a better and more flexible service. Local people are best placed to make decisions about local transport which is why I am delighted that HCC will be taking responsibility for this service."

Cllr Pile said: "HCC has worked hard through the Community Rail Partnership to develop and promote this line. We have had many successes since founding the Partnership in June 2005, particularly with improving the condition of stations and raising passenger numbers by around 20 per cent.

"However, this proposal offers to move things on dramatically and to deliver a much more useful link in the local transport network which suffers from considerable traffic congestion."

It is hoped that the new service could be in place as early as 2011.

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