People On Bikes

Cycle route development news for Welwyn Hatfield area

[Last updated December 2016]

WelHatCycling works with Hertfordshire County Council on cycle route plans for our district. The information below is what WelHatCycling currently know about plans. Comments and corrections are welcomed.

Our own contribution to future planning is our Space for Cycling in Welwyn Hatfield [PDF] document which we have circulated to local councillors and our MP, Grant Shapps. We lobby as and when we can to see these plans fulfilled.

Cycle routes are listed as:

Recently completed

Queensway bypass (February 2016)

Another WelHatCycling lobbying success! The path from the Market Square toucan crossing to old French Horn Lane by the Telephone Exchange is now dual use. This is the final link in the cycle route from the University, Galleria and South Hatfield to the station.

Future plans

Hatfield railway station to Business Park phase 3 (2020?)

This project has been split into three phases.

Phase 1, from Hatfield station to the west end of French Horn Lane was completed in 2010. Not included was a link to Old Hatfield via the Batterdale subway as this is deemed too low to be safely used, despite there being other routes in other towns which are much lower. Sustrans says in its guidelines "we consider it preferable having "substandard" clearance than either a blockage or a dangerous road crossing". This section connects with the Great North Way (NCN12).

Phase 2, from The Common to Comet Way, was completed in October 2012. The scheme was funded by developer contributions from the business park (Section 106 contributions.) It connects to the Alban Way (NCN61) on Wellfield Road and the Great North Way (NCN12).

Phase 3 is the section from The Common to French Horn Lane. Following WelHatCycling's critical comments about the proposed on-road section on the Queensway roundabout, the plans were revised to include a Toucan crossing of Queensway with a route round the north east edge of the new town centre. However, that project to rebuild Hatfield Town Centre has now been abandoned so the future of this route is unclear. WelHatCycling have proposed that, should the town centre remain much as it is, the cycle path should come across the very north end of the town centre along the original line of Wellfield Road to meet the proposed toucan crossing by the clinic.

Phase 3 update: Meeting with Grant Shapps MP June 2015

In June 2015 WelHatCycling members Adam Edwards and Chris Whitehouse met with Grant Shapps MP to discuss the Hatfield Town Centre missing link, the short section between French Horn Lane and Wellfield Road across the north east end of the Town Centre.

Grant fully appreciated the merits of our proposal which includes a toucan crossing of Queensway by the Queensway Health Clinic and was supportive of it. He agrees that the proposal fits in well with the upcoming development of the north east end of the Town Centre, which includes an anchor store and postgraduate halls of residence for the University of Hertfordshire.

He could see the need for pedestrian and cycle access across Queensway, which then creates a continuous link between Hatfield Railway Station and the Business Park, and provides access to the shops at that end of the Town Centre.

He has already had meetings with the larger stakeholders including the University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire County Council, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Gascoyne Cecil Estates and Hatfield Town Council and suggested WelHatCycling should be included in future discussions. In addition to £2.6m already committed to the development of the Town Centre, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has also received £6m so the cost of the crossing and the associated short section of cycle path should, in Grants view, be a small and easily funded part of the wider project.

It certainly helped that we had recently been in contact with WHBC councillors, particularly Lynne Sparks (now Mayor), and that Colin Haigh, Head of Planning for WHBC, has been in contact with the Hertfordshire Local Access Forum on the proposal. Our involvement with the University of Hertfordshire over local cycling issues also helped, and students had expressed their appreciation to Grant of our information stall and Dr Bike at the recent University Wellbeing day.

We hope this might lead to speedier progress on this much needed link.

Woods Ave to Bishops Rise (2017-18)

Just out for consultation (December 2016) is a plan to extend the Woods Ave cycleway up Woods Ave to Bishops Rise including a wider shared use pavement on the north side of the road and works at the Bishops Rise roundabout to enable access to the University halls of residence. This work is expected to happen in the third quarter of 2017-18, which we assume means the later autumn of 2017.

Our Vision

We have documented what we would like to see in the future in our Space For Cycling and Hatfield Ring Cycle plans with maps and photos. If you would like a copy please email us.