Establishing a voluntary Quality Network Partnership (QNP) within a Hertfordshire District

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting


Recent research related to transport within the United Kingdom, especially within urban-conurbations, have identified limitations with transport governance and finance as key issues in creating sustainable integrated transport networks. This literature focuses on the need, and potential for changing travel behaviour away from ever increasing private car use, to greater use of public transport for commuting. This has the potential to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions from transport activities as well as improving community cohesion and mobility. Changing individual behaviour away from car use is dealt with through organisational “Travel Plans” or the “Smarter Choices” initiative, as proposed by the UK Department for Transport (DfT). The UK has a history of declining public transport use outside London, particularly in rural areas. Various legislative attempts have been made but so far to no real effect in most places. The Local Transport Act 2008 attempts to address the provision of public services by providing Local Authorities with a range of new powers to influence directly bus service provision through the introduction of new voluntary Quality Partnerships. The aim is to create change in bus service delivery, thus leading to reform in transport governance and greater use by the public. This paper uses a unique applied case study approach for setting up and managing a voluntary Quality Network Partnership (QNP), within the Hertfordshire City and District of St Albans. The partnership includes all bus and train operators providing public services within St Albans. The research aims to investigate, through piloting these additional powers set out in the Local Transport Act, the development and management of a Quality Partnership. The research aims to identify areas of organisational conflict that occur between the Local Authorities, Operators and Transport Practitioners. The identification of funding streams for achieving improvements has also been covered. The methodological model for this QNP makes use of four key working groups specifically related to improvements along key transport corridors within the District. The working groups focus is to identify and implement infrastructure, network, marketing and ticketing initiatives aimed at improving public transport provision. The overall aim of the Hertfordshire QNP is to create an innovative locus for transport governance within a defined area, with the intention of creating a replicable model framework for other Local Authorities and public transport operators to follow.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.