A taste of traffic chaos to come? Unless we stop it.

Saffron Walden is this week being treated to a demonstration of what traffic congestion would be like if Uttlesford District Council ever implemented the awful plans they published last year to close Thaxted Road to traffic coming into town.

The result has been all too obvious – all day from 9.30am onwards, a constant traffic jam stretching from the High Street.

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Since Monday, Thaxted Road has been closed to through traffic because of utilities works. Traffic from the South trying to get into town has been diverted up Mount Pleasant / Peasland Roads and down Borough Lane or Debden Road and on to London Road and the High Street. The result has been all too obvious – all day from 9.30am onwards, a constant traffic jam stretching from the High Street / George Street lights back along the length of the High Street and London Road, and ending somewhere past the Newport Road roundabout. Then there is another queue going up Debden Road and past the junction with Mount Pleasant Road. Last week should be the good week – with half term, traffic is much reduced. The Thaxted Road closure is due to last for another two weeks.

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The proposals were produced without any public consultation and, despite UDC’s own traffic forecasts showing the chaos that would result, they were an integral part of the failed Local Plan proposals.

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Yet this is exactly what UDC proposed last year as part of their attempt to justify mass house-building on the East of Saffron Walden. Under their plans, traffic from the south would be prevented from entering Thaxted Road, and would be forced down exactly the same route that is now causing such chaos on the roads. Thankfully, with the rejection of UDC’s flawed Local Plan in Autumn 2014, the road changes proposed appear to have been put on ice, but who knows? The proposals were produced without any public consultation and, despite UDC’s own traffic forecasts showing the chaos that would result, they were an integral part of the failed Local Plan proposals.

Hopefully this week’s demonstration of what would happen if the one-way system were ever to be allowed will be enough to show what an awful idea it is.

[Pictures showing views up Debden Road and London Road from the London Road / Debden Road junction around 12.00noon on Thursday 29 October]

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