Civic backing for St Albans Abbey Flyer trams

Letting the tram take the strain on the Abbey Flyer has got the thumbs up from civic watchdogs. St Albans Civic Society is supporting the move to transform the current rail link between Abbey Station and Watford Junction with a more frequent tram service.

Letting the tram take the strain on the Abbey Flyer has got the thumbs up from civic watchdogs.

St Albans Civic Society is supporting the move to transform the current rail link between Abbey Station and Watford Junction with a more frequent tram service.

Public consultation on the proposal, which would provide between two and three trams an hour between the two stations compared with the current 45-minute intervals between trains, was launched late last year.

It would mean the Department for Transport (DfT) removing the route from the London Midland franchise and transferring the funds and ownership to the county council.


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A number of European tram systems are moving over to low-floor vehicles, freeing up compatible high-floor vehicles which are still very viable.

The infrastructure would remain the same but a passing loop would need to be installed - most probably at Bricket Wood - to allow more than one tram to travel along the line.

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Supporting the proposals, the Civic Society points out that the opportunity to get a 30-minute off-peak service which could be 20 minute in peak periods is something which is unlikely to ever happen using the current trains and infrastructure.

They regard the enhanced frequency as a key factor in realising the potential of the line and would like to see a later service from Watford Junction to enable more people to take advantage of evening events.

Turning loop

They also describe the introduction of a turning loop at Bricket Wood as "ideal" because it is equidistant from the two stations on the line.

The Civic Society has come up with the suggestion that a short platform should be constructed on the Everard Close side of the Abbey Station to allow local residents and shoppers to get to the adjacent Sainsbury's and retail park more easily.

Eric Roberts of the Civic Society said: "The society recognises that for those who wish to see through trains to London Euston, the tram operation is not good news. However the funding for such expensive track works at Watford Junction and at Bricket Wood is unlikely to ever be authorised to facilitate such through services."

Consultation on the tram proposal ends on March 21 and if implemented, it could be in place by late 2011.

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