Sunday, 14 August 2016

Impact of development great and small

The proposed 20, 000 houses east of the M1 near Junction 14 stretching out to link Crawley with Cranfield and Moulsoe must surely be a concern as to the weight and impact of the traffic? The Government I feel is either powerless or deliberately posturing as such to inform a laissez-fare attitude to development. The M1 junction is often congested at peak times and unless it is made 3 lanes over the M1, surely these congestion 'hot spots' will get worse, not better as these houses are built and as commuting is the main stay employment window, access to the M1 is one artery, driving across MK urban area is another but if the Central MK Station is the goal, then demand for parking will exceed supply of land and so costs may be imposed or urban on-street parking causing conflict with estate residents. 

Likewise at Olney we face a development which may seem benign enough but which we believe will inform more greenfield to brown field and act as a wedge to more development. What a Northampton-Olney-Bedford rail reopening offers is a station on the A509 at Olney to cream off commuters to London nearer source, better enabling Milton Keynes to cope. We face an Informal Meeting which is tantamount to an inquiry in all but name and form. I've never done one solo before and am, if honest nervous. They say we can speak at it, but don't set a time limit, the Council Planning Committee was 3 minutes and that enables better planning. Shall I do the same or speak for an hour? How long is a piece of string.

The National Infrastructure Commission is including examination of Northampton-Bedford in it's review and I have a meeting with Northants County Council to debate the relative merits and hopefully assure them that Northampton would gain from direct links between it and Luton/Airport, Bedford and with East-West Rail, ultimately Cambridge and vice versa. Their new University Waterside Campus backs onto the old railway route into Northampton. We do not want it to be made into a road access, we want a station there to enable students to find it easily straight from the airport or principal main line stations and terminus' namely London, Birmingham and all in between including Northampton, Olney and Bedford.

Villages will take a lot of the cross-traffic as development models are being unleished across the English Regions without the essential local rail infrastructure being restored as part and parcel of the deal. Therefore the whole lot goes on the roads, the roads are congested and whereas Ely, A14 and Norwich have new roads and widening; this creates more brownfield for development, and erodes the countryside, ability to grow food and imports rise.

So I welcome any support and collaboration. Local Government has been whittled down and needs to be revitalised, more people means we need more MP's and Councillors to represent them, not less. Taxes must rise but should be proportionate to incomes. There is no more that can be cut and whether direct or indirect, costs and adequate funding of public services is essential for well being than misery.

Cutting from Milton Keynes Citizen, 04-08-2016. 20, 000+ houses and no new rail infrastructure. That is dire planning!


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