Is town’s evolution one step closer? Council unveils regeneration proposals

Hemel Hempstead bus interchange plan
Hemel Hempstead bus interchange plan

Plans for a new bus interchange, taxi waiting area and disabled parking bays in Hemel Hempstead town centre have been unveiled today as Dacorum Borough Council publishes its proposed traffic orders for the area.

The planned overhaul is part of the council’s £30 million Hemel Evolution town regeneration programme, and will include a modern and more accessible bus interchange to replace the existing Waterhouse Street bus station, expected to be completed in 2016.

Though business owners operating from the town’s Market Square, including those behind Newsbox and the Afro-Caribbean Shop, have complained the move will reduce footfall to their stores, the council says proposals are aimed at bringing more visitors to Hemel.

A new pedestrian zone in the Marlowes shopping area that will extend to parts of Moor End Road will incorporate blue badge holder parking, short stay spaces and spaces for a relocated taxi rank for 37 cabs.

The pedestrian zone is expect to allow only permit holder one-way traffic from Bridge Street to Moor End Road, at the junction with Primark.

A council spokesman said: “The plans aim to increase accessibilty and visitors to the town centre by bringing the buses closer to the main shopping area, and will also free up the Market Square for future leisure and restaurant development.

“Work to transform the Marlowes pedestrian shopping area is expected to start this autumn.

“This is one part of Dacorum Borough Council’s town centre regeneration project that aims to make Hemel Hempstead Town centre a more vibrant, accessible and busy place to shop, work and visit.”

All of the plans are available to view in the Civic Centre on Marlowes from 8.45am to 5.15pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8.45am to 4.45pm on Fridays. You can also view them and add your comments by clicking here. Objections to the proposals can be made until May 30.