Saffron Walden residents’ priorities for road improvements adopted by Town Council – Press Release

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local party of towns and villages, has announced that Saffron Walden Town Council has prepared and approved a list of schemes to improve pedestrian, cycling and traffic access in Saffron Walden for submission to the Local Highways Panel.

In November 2015 R4U and Saffron Walden Town Council jointly consulted with residents about ways to improve driving, walking and cycling in the town. As part of the initiative, R4U produced a map of over 70 improvement hotspots. A survey of residents was used to prioritise these improvements and gain further suggestions.

Cllr Paul Gadd (R4U)</
Cllr Paul Gadd (R4U)
R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd led the consultation. He said “We are grateful for the public’s response, which has underlined the need for much safer pedestrian access, particularly for children and the elderly. We also consulted with ECC Highways and a list of prioritised schemes was adopted by the Town Council last week.”

The approved priorities include pedestrian crossings on Little Walden Road near Castle Street, on Ashdon Road near the Common, and on the High Street opposite King Street to allow better access to Swan Meadow; a 20mph limit in the town centre and outside schools; as well as works to improve safety around Cates Corner.

Cllr Richard Freeman (R4U)
Cllr Richard Freeman (R4U)
Cllr Richard Freeman, Chair of the Town Council Traffic and Planning Committee said “This is the first time that the Council has taken a strategic view of these issues in Saffron Walden. The adopted improvements will be put forward to the Local Highways Panel as a co-ordinated package. They have an annual budget of £450,000 for local schemes such as these. Even though this is not sufficient, we hope they will accept and adopt the highest priority proposals this year. And now we have a strategic plan, we have a roadmap for future years.”

Separately, UDC has asked ECC to remove on-street parking from 1.5km of Saffron Walden’s roads. These proposals are currently in public consultation.

These proposals were also discussed at the same Planning Committee. Chair of the committee, Cllr Richard Freeman said “Our survey shows that residents don’t support UDC’s desire to remove huge sections of on-street parking at all and it is not a priority for them. On-street parking is important to the economy of the town. It is valuable for residents, and those that work or visit the town. It also calms traffic and provides a safety barrier for pedestrians, particularly on the school walking routes. The Town Council voted to oppose these proposals and we will fight them on behalf of residents. None the less we encourage residents to respond to the public consultation themselves.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties.

R4U is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In 2015 it became the second party at Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In 2017 it achieved a further by-election gain with 60% of the vote. In the May 2019 Local Elections R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK in those elections.

R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U is also the majority party at Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.

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