Hertfordshire County Council was last night (Thursday 17 October) named Transport County of the Year at the prestigious National Transport Awards 2013.

Judges recognised your local county council’s holistic approach to Hertfordshire’s Local Transport Plan, delivering a transport vision for the county which has 5,085km of roads, excluding motorways and trunk roads, and 5,375km of footpaths and cycleways.

“I am delighted that Hertfordshire County Council’s innovative work to promote and support sustainable travel to reduce growth in car traffic, improve the health and quality of life of residents and lower the negative impact on the environment has won us this wonderful accolade,” said Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Highways and Waste Management.
“We have built hugely successful partnerships with organisations across the county, from town and district council to public transport providers, schools, colleges and third sector groups to make our vision a reality.”
Hertfordshire County Council pipped Lancashire County Council to glory at the 13th Annual National Transport Awards hosted by Jeremy Vine at London’s Westminster Park Plaza.

Hertfordshire's innovative projects that impressed the judges included:

• Hi-tech bus information - Some 8,000 mobile phone users have downloaded our ‘Herts Bus Info’ app. Stats show that around 7,000 people are scanning free to use QR codes on bus stop timetables every month and near field communication technology (NFC) is currently being rolled out across all 4,500 bus stops in Hertfordshire allowing travellers to instantly download a bus departure board by tapping or holding their mobile device against a smart poster in the roadside display timetable frame.

• Encouraging cycling and walking - We highlighted the £3.8m Royston rail underpass, which opened in 2012, linking the north and south of the town boosting cycling and walking, and our work in Watford supported by the borough council and West Herts College to improve Clarendon Road, a half-mile long pedestrian thoroughfare between Watford Junction Station and the town centre, to encourage walking.

• Sustainable transport - Hertfordshire County Council successfully secured £9.7million from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) towards the three year BIGHERTSBIGIDEAS project, which encompasses many schemes in sustainable transport provision to stimulate economic growth in Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford. Funds to be spent from March 2012-15 were boosted by contributions from the County Council and other local partners, totaling £3.3m. We will improve walking and cycling routes, enhance local bus services, market sustainable transport options in and between the three towns, and use innovative technology.

• School transport savings - Our review of school transport is saving £5-6m of council tax payers' money each year, and our strategy to support communities, has seen alternative solutions funded by third party suppliers enabling children to travel to school in a sustainable way. We recently launched an online multi-modal school journey planner, giving families a simple online solution to see their child’s travel to school options by alternative modes of travel. Our website has a dedicated landing page, with news and promotions, comprehensive links to travel concessionary Savercards, road safety and walking initiatives and calorie counter, easy access to each school’s travel plan and activities. Around 2,000 people used it preparing for the September return to school.

• Road safety initiative - More than 24,000 people have attended our driver offender retraining courses in Hertfordshire in the past year. Feedback from attendees is very positive and they have commented on how it has improved their driving habits.