Highways England’s Process
Highways England (HE) proposes to consult with local people on road options in early summer 2017. They have said that their starting position for designing the road is the rejected ‘pink-blue’ route, first proposed in the early 1990s and the ‘preferred’ route of councils and the MP. HE will not give details in advance.
However, in 2006, Highways Agency (as it then was) consultants reviewed plans and drafted several designs for the road, including the ‘pink-blue’ route. They were not published, but a Freedom of Information Act request allowed us a photograph of the designs (on paper, hence the poor quality image). Here is the ‘pink-blue’ route (our labels are provided for clarity):
You can download a full-size copy here:
This was not the favoured option then, as it is expensive and highly damaging. The consultants recommended the short, purple route.
Highways England is obliged to provide some sustainable transport options, but there have been no indications as to what this might include.
This massive road-building is an outdated a legacy of the 70s, which will generate more traffic, pollute and harm our health, destroy our countryside and wildlife, undermine local business and damage our children’s future. It is also a colossal waste of £250million plus.
We have not been informed over the years about issues and solutions to our transport needs. There should be informed, open debate including all transport modes. We understand that planning business and housing development around sustainable access and integrated transport is the only way to solve traffic congestion. It is also the most cost effective.
As David Metz, former Chief Scientist to the Department for Transort and professor at University College London Centre for Transport Studies, has said: ‘you can’t build your way our of congestion‘.