Government cash to turn arty subways into breath of fresh air
Published 2nd April 2020
hertford subway
Artwork by a local and internationally renowned artist, alongside pieces by Hertford students, will brighten up two subways in the town after East Herts Council, jointly with Hertfordshire County Council, received £54,000 from the government’s Air Quality Grant pot.

Permanent reproductions by the late Alan Davie RA, coupled with a changing display of work by local students, will create attractive walking options to help encourage people to leave their car at home. 

New lighting and way marking signs will also be installed at the two routes under St Andrew Street and London Road. Both are within the Hertford Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) which encourages everyone to co-ordinate on tackling the issue.

Temporary images will be updated every year with competitions in schools and the wider community so that people who use the subways regularly will be able to enjoy a changing display. 

The two subways, combined with three others under the A414 Gascoyne Way that were refurbished by East Herts and the county council in 2016, will be incorporated into a wider walking project. 

Graham McAndrew, executive member for the environment, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant towards helping improve local air quality. 

“Our aim is to create a shift away from the use of cars for short journeys in Hertford by providing inviting and interesting pedestrian routes. In turn, this will reduce vehicle emissions, assist with climate change targets and help to increase our residents’ mental and physical health through increased physical activity.” 

Derrick Ashley, the county council’s executive member for transport, said “This is part of our countywide programme to encourage people out of their cars for short journeys. More walking means better air quality and improved health in general”.

People will be able to join a “Friends of Hertford Subways” group to report minor damage and carry out some light cleaning work, helping to keep the designs clean and vibrant.