UDC and ECC remove local approval for traffic schemes, forcing Saffron Walden Town Council to abandon Judicial Review of widespread parking ban

Following UDC and ECC’s process change to remove any local approval for new traffic schemes, Saffron Walden Town Council has felt forced to withdraw from the judicial review of the district and county council’s decision to restrict parking on a mile of the towns roads, including Ashdon Rd, Borough Lane, Mount Pleasant Rd, Peaslands Road, and parts of Thaxted Rd.

John Lodge (R4U)John Lodge (R4U)

Councillor John Lodge of R4U said “There is no legitimate need to clear these streets of parking for residents and workers, and there is little support for it. UDC proposed building urban-clearways through Saffron Walden to enable them to build huge housing estates on the east of Saffron Walden. But these housing proposals were discredited by Planning Inspectors and rejected by ECC Highways, and so abandoned by UDC. But the unneeded urban clearway scheme still persists. Furthermore with the closing of the former Friends School, traffic has eased considerably in the morning and evening commutes. R4U and the Town Council are clear that UDC’s scheme is not needed and will reduce safety – and UDC have no solution for how residents without drives and people working in town will park when the parking places are lost. This is yet another example of Conservative administrations riding roughshod over the needs and wishes of Saffron Walden residents.”

Cllr Lodge continued “It is an unnecessary and poorly thought out scheme; there has been no analysis of the effects on pedestrian safety, despite the number of schools that will be affected, and both R4U and the Town Council have fought it. The Town Council started the Judicial Review process because the UDC and ECC quango that is implementing UDC’s scheme failed to get local residents’ approval, as was required. We are disappointed that the Town Council has now withdrawn from the Judicial Review, but understand they felt they had little option. UDC and ECC have changed their process to exclude ANY local approval from local residents when implementing such significant schemes. That means that money spent on any judicial review victory would be a waste of tax-payer money in the end; UDC would just apply for the scheme again, this time without requiring local approval. So whilst a moral victory would be good and the right thing, the Town Council needs to be prudent with tax-payers’ money.”

ECC painted the first yellow lines last week as soon as the Saffron Walden Town Council announced that they had withdrawn from the Judicial Review.”