Hertfordshire County Council has completed the construction of a shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists in Wiggenhall Road, Watford, boosting facilities for those that walk and cycle.
The work involved widening the pavement to provide a two-way shared use path and extending the crossing width on the bridge over the River Colne. Footway resurfacing also took place on the eastern side of the road with accompanying parking restrictions to prevent footway parking and ease traffic movements. A missing link in the Ebury Way route between Rickmansworth and Watford has now been removed also improving access to the nearby Oxhey Activity Park.
The scheme was delivered by the county council following an award of £9 million from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund, which supports local authorities to create safer, easier to use spaces for those who cycle and walk.
Its delivery also supports Watford Borough Council’s ‘Transforming Travel in Watford’ strategy, to increase sustainable options for those travelling to, from and around Watford. The Borough Council have also completed complementary resurfacing works on the Ebury Way in Riverside Park during the spring.
In July 2021, the county council undertook a public consultation on eight proposed schemes across Hertfordshire, including the Wiggenhall Road project. The public response to the scheme showed that more than three quarters of respondents agreed to some extent with the proposals, selecting either ‘strongly agree’ or ‘tend to agree’.
The scheme, which began in June and completed in early September, was also supported by the local county councillor, Stephen Giles-Medhurst.
Phil Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We are delighted that our first Active Travel Fund scheme is now complete, providing residents and visitors in and around Watford with improved cycling and walking routes, making journeys healthier and towns cleaner and greener.
“This is a benchmark project, the first of many similar schemes we are planning to roll-out county-wide over the coming years as part of our commitment to sustainable travel and improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.”
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: “We are committed to reducing congestion and improving air quality and active travel is a vital part of achieving this. We have seen a huge number of people get involved with our bike-share scheme over the last couple of years, showing there’s plenty of appetite for cycling in the borough. However, it is essential we have the appropriate infrastructure in place to make it easier for people to use greener transport options. The improvements at Wiggenhall Road will play an important role in giving people the option to walk and cycle around Watford.”
The schemes help support the objectives of the Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy and the county council’s Local Transport Plan to make towns less congested and better places to live, work and visit.