Trams could be running regularly between Watford and St Albans by 2012, a new report suggests.
Hertfordshire County Council, which wants to convert the Abbey Flyer line between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey to a tram route, carried out an extensive public consultation earlier this year – the full findings of which were released by the Department for Transport (DfT) last week.
The report answers numerous questions posed by potential service users and describes a clear time-line for the project, which will allow the running of two trams at half-hourly intervals, instead the current one every 45 minutes.
HCC, which will be granted ownership of the land by the government, will sign a 22 year lease agreement with one of four shortlisted contractors early next year.
If all goes to plan, construction work on a depot and passing loop will begin late in 2011, with the full tram conversion opening the following year.
Those passengers who responded to the consultation made several requests, including upping the frequency of services to three per hour, increasing passenger capacity at peak times and running services later into the night.
HCC explained in the document that each was possible and would be viewed positively if included in the tender document.
Suggestions that the line be extended to include street running in Watford and St Albans, however, were rejected for the time being.
The council explained that funding was fixed to include only the immediate conversion project but did not rule out extensions in the future – should funding become available.
An extension of the line to London Euston, however, has been ruled out.