We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

"Bus Fuss" on the Hertford Loop Rail Line as Weekday Rail Replacement Bus Services Start..

June 7, 2019 7:28 AM
Originally published by West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats

Stevenage StationFrom 20 May 2019 buses will replace trains from Monday-Friday between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone while Network Rail completes a major upgrade to Stevenage Station.

Two direct rail replacement bus routes will be in operation: between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone and between Stevenage and Hertford North. Buses are timed to connect with train services.

Rail services from Watton-at-Stone and Hertford North towards London will be unaffected.

Prior to May 2018, Hertford Loop trains could not turn around at Stevenage so these trains had to run empty north to turn around at Letchworth Garden City on the East Coast main line. This could cause delays to, or be delayed by, services on the main line.

A new platform and track, once complete will remove this issue, improving the reliability of all services.

The new platform (Platform 5) and new track is being constructed at Stevenage which will mean that train services on the Hertford Loop (Stevenage to London via Hertford North) can turn around there. Then two trains per hour all day in each direction can be provided, with better connections at Stevenage which will include direct services serving to destinations connected to the East Coast Main Line including Brighton, Gatwick Airport, Cambridge, Peterborough and across the North of England.

However, the enhancement of the Thameslink Brighton to Cambridge service will use the time slots on the East Coast main line that were previously filled by empty Hertford Loop trains going to Letchworth to turn round. For this reason, as well as to facilitate construction work, until Platform 5 and the associated points and track work is completed, rail replacement buses will have to be used between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone.

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Tring, Nick Hollinghurst, who has a strong interest in improving public transport and and reducing road traffic said,

"All councillors have been concerned about this long period of rail replacement bus services. We hope that no passenger traffic on the Hertford Loop will be permanently lost as a result of this disruption and that passenger journeys after the improvements will exceed the prior level of usage as soon as possible. The county's roads are already heavily congested and one way or another road traffic must be reduced - as much for the residents' quality of life as for environmental reasons."