Press Release: Latest traffic study shows Saffron Walden gridlocked by 2020 due to failed housing plan

Wednesday 16th March 2015, Saffron Walden: Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local party of towns and villages, has published a traffic map of Saffron Walden to highlight the traffic problems that will be caused by the current District Council administration’s failed Local Plan. The map is based on a new traffic report produced by Transport Planning Associates which uses underlying Essex County Council data.

Dr Richard Freeman (R4U) Dr Richard Freeman (R4U)
Dr Richard Freeman prospective R4U candidate for the Saffron Walden Castle Ward said “The new traffic report considers the aggregate impact of all of UDC’s developments in Saffron Walden. It shows that at peak times the town will have more than 3 miles of gridlocked traffic. It exposes the effect of the poor planning decisions taken by the current District Council administration in approving vast new housing estates without the proper infrastructure. It’s all very well that Tory councillors are now out campaigning about traffic, but they voted for it and their administration is the architect of this mess! It is time for a wholesale change at UDC. R4U propose an infrastructure-led approach that prioritises the needs of locals over those of developers or national political parties.”

Last year UDC’s Local Plan was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate, but not before UDC had already approved over 600 new homes in Saffron Walden. An appeal for 300 more by Kier is being heard this week. The application under appeal is opposed by residents and the Saffron Walden Town Council. UDC decided not to fight the appeal because it is one of the sites they promoted in their rejected Local Plan.

In his Local Plan refusal, Inspector Roy Foster criticised plans for large-scale building in Saffron Walden, stating that “Major Modifications” were required to the road and traffic proposals. This latest report, produced for home-builder Kier, serves to underscore his concerns.

Dan Starr (R4U) Dan Starr (R4U)
Dan Starr, R4U’s prospective candidate for the Ashdon ward says “By 2020 the residents of the villages to the east of town will suffer considerably. The report shows queues of 3/4 mile on Ashdon Rd and 1/2 mile on Radwinter Rd. Those to the south don’t fare any better with 3/4 mile queues on Debden Rd and 1/2 mile on Thaxted Rd. This gridlock will lead to delays and frustration for all, and will increase pollution at junctions which are already at illegal levels. It will also have a knock-on effect to the local economy by deterring both employers and people who want to shop in Saffron Walden.”

About Residents for Uttlesford