New cycle route in Hatfield town centre, Alban Way tree roots update and litter pick, Covid19 ride cancellations and the A602

By | 9th May 2020

Hatfield town centre route to be completed by 2022?

On 23rd April 2020, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council approved development of the north east corner of the town centre and a condition of the development is a new cycle route across the town centre. The new route is the blue line below. The developer will pay contributions to a number of other projects one of which is the toucan crossing of Queensway shown in read. The yellow arrows show how the toucan is critical in opening up the new development to commuters from the station, who otherwise cross further along Queenway and miss it.

Hatfield town centre new route plan
New route across Hatfield in 2022?

This new cycle route is hugely significant for the town and has been one of our major campaigns for as long as WelHatCycling has existed. We objected to the original plans which would have left the cycle route out and the plans were changed, with a little help from Hertfordshire County Council Highways. You can play our presentation here:

The new route will:

  • Complete the off road cycle route from Hatfield Station to the Business Park, Hatfield Garden Village and the University de Havilland Campus.
  • Create a safe route from Hatfield Garden Village to Onslow and Bishops Hatfield Schools.
  • Put Hatfield town centre at the heart of the Hatfield cycling network

There is of course much which needs to happen to get this route done, not least the construction of the new Common multi-story car park. This, scheduled for 2021, allows for other car parking to be closed to be built on and releases space for the town centre development. Our new route will therefore follow this project in 2022.

It will have taken 12 years since the section from Hatfield Station to the town centre was completed.

Tree roots on the Alban Way

Roote damage to Alban Way marked up for repairs
Root-o-Meter succes: Alban Way marked for repair at Foxhollows, Hatfield

Keen eyed riders will have noticed lots of yellow markings on the Alban Way showing where the surface needs repairing. This is a direct result of the work done by Chris and Ian using their Root-o-Meter to measure the poor state of the cycle route. We await works to repair the surface.

Covid19 – rides sadly cancelled

Our ride plans for this year were linked to the Welwyn Garden City Centenary celebrations including a centenary tour of the town. Given the current lockdown, none of this can happen.

woman on cycle ride
One of our previous rides

If you are looking for a local route we have some short safe family routes for you to try on our DIY routes page. If these don’t work for you, we’d be happy to suggest alternatives. Please contact us for advice.

A reminder that you are allowed out for exercise on your bicycles and, despite rumours to the contrary, there is no time or distance limit. That said, we’d not recommend you do long days touring the entire county, but a morning or afternoon doing 20-30 miles would be perfectly reasonable. If you are interested in longer routes, do look at our previous events for inspiration.

Panshanger Park cycle route
Panshanger Park permissive cycle route

You could also explore the new routes in Panshanger Park, explained in this blog by Cycling UK South Herts. There is a cycle way into the park from Birch Green as shown on the park map. As before. if these don’t work for you, we’d be happy to suggest alternatives. Please contact us for advice.

This also means all our meetings are on Zoom from now on. Please contact us if you would like to join our meeting and the Chair will send you the link.

A602 at Sacombe: Please write in and support the new cycle path

Map of cycle route at Sacombe showing approximate route under the new A602
A602 at Sacombe sketch map

It’s outside our area, but WelHatCycling have worked with CycleHerts and many other local groups to support Jon Crosby from Cycling UK South Herts in his campaign for a safe crossing of the A602 at Sacombe. Thanks to a robust objection to the original plans and the threat of a planning inquiry delaying the project, Hertfordshire have revised the plans for the new road and incorporated a cycle path passing under the new road. This ensures a safe route from Hertford out into the rural lanes to Bennington Lordship, Buntingford and Cromer Windmill.

The map below shows the (red) A602 realigned and the (green) cycle path which goes under the new A602 where it crosses the stream. As the A602 will be a wide, straight, fast and busy road the cycle path is key in getting us safely across.

The plans are out to consultation so please spend five minutes supporting this project. Making sure those in favour balances any anti-cycling objections really matters for this to go ahead. You can find out more from Hertfordshire County Council.

Litter pick 2020

Just before the Lockdown, we joined forces with Sustrans Rangers for East Herts to do our annual litter pick on the Alban Way. The massive amount of rubbish, much of it clearly fly tipping, meant we only did the section from the Galleria to St Albans Road West. We cleared 60 bags of rubbish in two and a half hours. Special thanks to James for hosting the tea and coffee afterwards.

Alban Way litter pickers with bags of collecter rubbish
Alban Way litter pickers March 2020

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