New 'free-floating' on-demand minibus service for East and North Herts including Bishop's Stortford
Bishop’s Stortford’s Liberal Democrats are backing a new rapid, on-demand public transport system.
HertsLynx launches on Sunday September 19, serving villages in East and North Herts and fixed destinations in seven key hub towns, including Stortford.
Passengers will be able to use it to travel anywhere in a “free-floating operating zone” encompassed by Bishop's Stortford, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston with Buntingford at its centre.
There will be no fixed routes. Instead, travellers are picked up and dropped off at a “vast number” of stops in the zone, including designated locations in the hub towns. However, journeys between multiple locations in the same hub town are not available.
HertsLynx will operate from 7am to 7pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 4pm Sundays and bank holidays. Journeys can be booked in real-time – up to three minutes before you wish to travel – and up to 30 days in advance.
Fares are based on mileage: 0-2 miles – £1; 2-5 miles – £2; 5-10 miles – £3; 10+ miles – £4. It is free to concessionary pass holders.
The number of passengers depends on demand from others travelling in a similar direction. The vehicle seating capacity is 16.
Booking will be via a mobile app, website or by phone.
The aim is to improve connections between rural areas and town centres and expand access to employment, education, healthcare and shopping.
Almost two years ago, East Herts Council Lib Dem Cllr Chris Wilson, who represents the Stortford All Saints ward, asked the district and county councils to work together to set up such a system.
He said: “I’m delighted the county council has seen that this part of Hertfordshire is desperately in need of public transport infrastructure.
"While this is largely a rural service, residents of Bishop’s Stortford will profit, if this is a successful venture, from decreased pollution and congestion.
“It affords residents of villages a much-needed and genuine alternative to the private car and is the only current realistic way to bring sustainable transport to Stortford’s rural hinterland.
“I intend to continue to lobby for further bus links for Stortford residents to places such as Welwyn, Stevenage and the new Princess Alexandra Hospital, when built, so that everyone can use sustainable transport for unavoidable journeys. We must not neglect residents who do not have access to a private car.
“We all feel that this is an exciting and ambitious new venture for the county and we wish it every success.”
For more details see www.intalink.org.uk/hertslynx.