A major new Uttlesford Transport Study, which has been finally published by UDC as part of their draft Local Plan, highlights past failings and recommends that Saffron Walden and Elsenham should be off-the-table for major new development without huge investments in new roads. The study also expresses concerns over gridlock in Great Dunmow, Newport, Stansted Mountfitchet and Takeley due to new development.
Uttlesford District Council is close to releasing its new draft Local Plan with the locations where it will put new houses over the next 16 years. UDC’s previous proposals put the majority of new development in Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow, Elsenham and Henham, but they were rejected by the Inspector in 2014; In 2016 UDC’s revised plans were withdrawn again. As UDC gets ready to reveal its new Plan it has published several key reports. These include the long-awaited Transport Study which reviews the district’s road network and looks at which places for new homes would cause the least congestion.
The Transport Study supports what local party Residents for Uttlesford and residents groups have been saying for the past 5 years – many of Uttlesford’s roads are already at or over capacity and can’t cope.
R4U Chair & Leader UDC
The new Transport Study finds that many roads in Saffron Walden, and all along the B1383, including in Newport, are already or will soon ‘exceed their capacity’. Source: UDC.
John Lodge continued “The study is particularly damning for UDC’s infamous eastern-link-road-to-nowhere in Saffron Walden. It is a myth and a white elephant. The study shows it will in fact actually worsen traffic and so pollution across the town. It goes on to say that no new mass housing should be proposed for Saffron Walden as the roads can’t take it, and even smaller developments will require detailed traffic and air quality assessments before they could be considered.”
Work has already started on half of the eastern link-road in Saffron Walden, even though the Transport Study makes it clear that the road is too small to do what was originally intended and will in fact make traffic worse in the town. It says only a ring-road will fix the town’s traffic (and pollution) problems.
Cllr John Lodge concluded “The study is as equally dismissive of UDC’s previous proposals for a new settlement in Elsenham and highlights concerns for the Dunmow area due to capacity issues on the A120 and M11 right from Harlow to Chesterford. There are also problems all the way along the B1383, which of course is also the relief road when there are any motorway problems. We are still waiting for the air quality study and will carefully review UDC’s draft plan when they release it in a few weeks; but after this report, we’d expect mass building in Saffron Walden and Elsenham to be off the table. We’d also expect to see solutions to the traffic problems for all the other settlements facing new developments.”
The Transport Study shows that roads in Stansted Mountfitchet, Great Dunmow, Takeley and Felsted also have problems.Source: UDC.
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’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 leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.
R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.
Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.