Plans for a ‘mass rapid transit’ system running through Hertfordshire are to be developed further by the county council.

The proposal is at the heart of a strategy designed to make it easier to travel from Broxbourne and Harlow in the east to Watford and Hemel Hempstead in the west.

On Monday (November 25) the proposal was backed by a meeting of the county council’s cabinet.

That means council officers now have the go-ahead to look in more detail at how the scheme could work, the type of system preferred and the route it could take.

Ultimately options for the scheme could include a guided busway or tram rail system stretching across the county.

But it has already been suggested that rubber wheels rather than steel wheels will be more financially feasible.

The idea forms part of the 'A414 corridor strategy' - a package of proposals designed to improve travel between the east and west of the county and to get more people out of their cars.

It’s been estimated that if all the proposals in the scheme were to go-ahead it would cost £1.3 billion.

At the cabinet meeting, executive member for growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy Cllr Derrick Ashley said this was "the biggest potential transport intervention Hertfordshire has undertaken for many years".

Cllr Ashley said that although the idea of a ‘mass rapid transit’ system was floated at the time of the consultation, it had become “much more key to implementing the strategy”.

And now he said there was greater emphasis on developing the potential of a ‘scheme’ along the corridor.

The A414, which runs between Hemel Hempstead and Harlow via St Albans, Hatfield, and Hertford, is already one of the busiest roads in the county.

And with plans for another 50,000 homes along the route by 2031, congestion on the road and journey times to cross the county would increase.

But this strategy aims to take steps to improve connectivity between towns, improve public transport and make it easier to travel without a car, while supporting sustainable economic growth.

The strategy document – and a further implementation plan – will be used to support the council to bid for future funding opportunities to meet the costs of the proposals.

Earlier this year the county council conducted public consultation into plans for the A414 corridor.

There was reported to be a good level of support for improving sustainable transport.