Travelling around some areas in Bengeo can be frustrating, particularly recently. Certain times of day and specific areas have issues that members of the Transport Working Group are keen to address.
Our work is based on the objectives previously agreed as priorities by the working group following the survey and first exhibition. We hope to encourage developments that will improve air quality locally and improve the health and wellbeing of local people.
We will be looking at ideas from A414 Corridor Strategy currently out for consultation and any Sustainable Travel Town Plans that might be adopted.
We are developing policies around the future impact of new developments in the ward on traffic. We are keen to encourage walking, cycling and green travel plans. We plan to consider parking issues both for residents and related to use of Hertford North Station.
We are preparing draft policies and project plans for consultation at the 2nd exhibition in March.
The Travel & Transport Working Group is focused on making Bengeo a place for people where they can enjoy walking and cycling for their everyday journeys. This is in keeping with Hertfordshire County Council’s draft Local Transport Plan.
Our aim is to identify issues that currently affect these types of journey so that BNAP can set out policies to ensure they are addressed. We will also be looking at more strategic issues that will improve connectivity, both within Bengeo and to other local areas, for example the town centre.
Whilst walking and cycling are a focus, it is also recognized that we all need to drive for some of our journeys. Traffic issues also form part of our research, the obvious issues such as through-traffic and on street parking are possibly the most significant. We are again identifying issues and reviewing how our local traffic network might look in the future. An example of this is the Old Cross junction, it seems to be a barrier to both pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles so we are considering how it could be improved.
We are also identifying measures that will ensure reliable and good quality public transport links are available to Bengeo. This would apply to all types of traveler, commuting into London, maintaining train access to Stevenage or bus services to the town centre and other local towns.
Key aims are to:
Maintain and enhance sustainable travel links within, to and from Bengeo.
Reinstate the transport hierarchy.
Give pedestrians priority back over cars.
Possible projects include:
Providing a pedestrian route on both sides of Beane Road to improve access to the station.
Managing parking in the vicinity of pedestrian crossings (i.e. at dropped kerbs) at junctions.
Investigate and improve congestion on Hartham Lane, when vehicles exit the Hartham Leisure facilities and Sainsburys. This would include creating a safe crossing arrangement for pedestrians.
The Natural Environment & Green Spaces group aims to look at every type of green space within Bengeo ward including woodland, farm land, nature reserves, Hartham Common, allotments and Children’s Play areas.So many people in Bengeo love the area because of its semi-rural location and open spaces. It is a key characteristic of our ward. Whether it be looking after an allotment or walking out on a pleasant afternoon across one of the many country walks that surround the area. The sense of openness and mixed land use is key to the area’s identity.
We in the Natural Environment and Green Spaces Working Group have been thrilled by the positive responses we have received while discussing our local green spaces, and the key role that many people feel these spaces play in their lives. Once, not so long ago Bengeo was a small rural village, but despite much growth the area has managed to keep that semi-rural atmosphere. We feel this is part of who we are.
The key aims of the group are to:
Promote and protect rights of way around Bengeo including cycle tracks, walking routes and common land.
Enable sustainable use of Bengeo green spaces.
Maintain and protect wildlife habitats within Bengeo ward.
Promote use of our natural environment for recreational activity for all ages.
Protect Bengeo ward from poor air quality by protecting and increasing green lungs and corridors.
The groups is currently evaluating the following projects:
Including a photo library and detailed use of mapping to optimise conservation opportunities.
Using the disused railway land in lower Bengeo as a cycleway and footpath.
Having a community garden and or aviary amongst other ideas.
The Culture & Communities Working Group aims to encompass a very wide view of “culture” and include all community groups such as the churches, youth organisations, arts organisations, community centres, leisure and recreation initiatives and others. It is culture in the widest sense. In the words of the 2016 Culture White Paper the value of culture is threefold: intrinsic, social and economic. The social benefit is clearly linked to physical and mental well-being. The lower part of Bengeo down to the Town Centre has been identified in the Hertford Urban Development Strategy as Hertford Arts Quarter. There are plans to regenerate the Old McMullens Brewery and Old British School in Dimsdale Street as a Hertford Arts Hub with support from the University of Hertfordshire, Hertford Town Council and Arts Council England.
A community with a strong set of cultural activities is a healthy community and this is especially important for young people – for whom there is too little provision in Bengeo and Hertford generally.
Three key aims are to:
Encourage and develop all cultural activities within the BNAP area by developing a community portal of the Love Bengeo website and engaging with local cultural groups.
Ensure access to the widest possible variety of activities for all age groups and abilities by promoting existing premises and activities and encouraging fresh initiatives.
Improve communication amongst current cultural activity suppliers.
We will explore the types of activities and event spaces that might be made available by the redevelopment of the Old British School.
If there is a desire for a dedicated community centre within Bengeo and where that might be located.
The development of a heritage trail through Bengeo, with key sign-posting and/or permanent notice boards.
The Businesses Working Group is trying to get some further feedback from Bengeo Ward businesses. Therefore we are now asking all local businesses (big and small) that we know of to respond to our very brief 1 page survey so that we can get further views on what the Bengeo Ward businesses would like to see in future Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan.
Please download and fill out the Word document below and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have two working group meetings coming up – for Natural Environment & Green Spaces and Culture & Community.
Our Natural Environment and Green Spaces Working Group will discuss considerations such as the disused railway, Bengeo quarry, leisure & recreation and play areas in Bengeo Ward on Tuesday 26th September (venue TBC).
Our Culture & Community Working Group will meet on Tuesday 19th September.We also warmly welcome representatives of organisations, churches, scouts, art organisations, associations etc.
Please get in touch if you are interested in either of these Working Groups.