Marshalswick South Focus Team

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Groundbreaking transport improvements include makeover of St Albans’ city bus network

by awitherick on 8 April, 2011

St Albans’ city bus network is being revamped and improved as part of groundbreaking improvements to public transport in St Albans.
Changes to the city’s S routes are part of a new local transport initiative involving all the key local transport partners in the district.  Other improvements to be made to local public transport, include, as a first stage:

  • a new public transport network map, targeted particularly at those who do not know where the buses go, but who might use them if they did,
  • bus stop improvements with new shelters and information screens,
  • measures to improve bus reliability, and
  • the reinstatement of the 712 route between Hatfield, St Albans and London Victoria.

The improvements come as a result of the pioneering work of Network St Albans, a partnership of organisations including all the local bus and train operators, St Albans City and District Council and Hertfordshire County Council.  Network St Albans is working to improve local public transport as a whole.  The approach is to ensure that opportunities presented by new technology are exploited at an early stage, and that the different operators develop services in a joined up way to provide public transport that is comfortable, inviting, convenient and easy to use.
Uno, the bus company that runs the S network, the St Albans City Network, is leading the changes to the S Routes which will have new vehicles, clearer numbering and new timetable information with colour coding for each route.
Further improvements to come later this year will include:

  • more new low emission buses, which will help deal with air pollution on Holywell Hill, St Albans,
  • new ticketing technology with bus tickets downloadable to mobile phones (similar to that already being used successfully for the University of Hertfordshire park and ride at Hatfield),
  • real time information at bus stops and available on mobile phones and online,
  • more bus-rail through tickets.

Stephen Joseph, Chair of Network St Albans and Executive Director of the national campaign group Campaign for Better Transport commented:  “St Albans is fortunate to be a district where, overall, transport services are seeing major improvements.  This compares favourably with wholesale cuts in services that we see taking place in some counties like Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.  While there are one or two places that are losing out from service changes, overall the picture here is healthy.  These new initiatives will help to drive up the quality and convenience of public transport services in St Albans, Harpenden and right across the district.”

Jim Thorpe, Managing Director of Uno buses commented:  “We are very excited to be playing our part in the improvements to public transport in St Albans. The network in St Albans gets newer buses and a clear brand identity and new map, and we’ve reinstated the 712 service between St Albans and London. This is just the start though, with low emission hybrid buses, real time passenger information and smart and mobile ticketing being introduced on Uno’s bus routes by the end of year.”

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