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Hitchin is an English market town. The population is estimated at 33,350 because of its location in the North Hertfordshire district.
On the northern edge of Hitchin lies Ickleford, while to the south lie St Ippolyts, Charlton and Gosmore. Letchworth, Baldock, Stevenage, and Luton are the nearest towns.
Hitchin is located in North Hertfordshire, a unitary authority that was formed by combining villages and towns in 1974. Hitchin no longer has a town council. Residents elect 13 members to the North Hertfordshire District Council. Hitchin has five electoral wards: Bearton, Highbury, Oughton, Priory, and Walsworth. Until 1974, Hitchin Town Hall was governed by the Hitchin Urban District Council.
The station at Hitchin is on the East Coast Main Line Great Northern Line, and also on the Cambridge Line as its last stop before diverging towards Cambridge, 1.42 kilometres (0.88 mi) to the northeast of the station. Under its Great Northern and Thameslink brands, Govia Thameslink Railway provides services from this station. Among them are Cambridge, Letchworth Garden City, Peterborough, and London Kings Cross. Additionally, they connect to St Pancras International, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges and Brighton. The average journey time between London and Cambridge is 33 minutes. Stevenage can be reached in 5 minutes, Peterborough in 45 minutes, and Gatwick in 78 minutes.