Say NO press release: Road Infrastructure - 12 Dec 2016
Resident groups in South Essex are incensed that councils across the area want to build 80,000 new homes with only minimal improvements to the road networks. Dr Philip Gibbs speaking on behalf of the "Say- No Overdevelopment" campaign said. "Anyone who drives a car in South Essex during busy hours lives the daily misery of snarled up junctions everywhere from Basildon to Southend. New houses are going up all over and each household brings an average of 1.1 new cars onto the roads according to official figures. Imagine the chaos of another 100,000 vehicles using the road networks in twenty years' time. It does not bare thinking about."
"In the Autumn Statement the chancellor announced billions in funding to 'unlock' housing growth around the country, but a few billion on a national scale gets spread pretty thinly and by the time the butter knife got to South Essex there was just enough left to fill a few potholes. Our problem is that the government will only fund major trunk roads leaving Essex County Council to find the money to make any road upgrades here from local taxes. The A127 Southend arterial was taken out of the trunk road network in 1998. The result is a two lane dual carriageway with substandard junctions taking the levels of traffic that would justify a three lane motorway anywhere else. It has been allowed to get so bad that even if money were available to fix the A127 properly it would not be physically possible because it runs through urban areas too close to housing. With austerity continuing, Essex County Council can't afford to repaint the white lines in the area, let alone pay for this scale of road improvement.
The councils tell us that money for new roads and junctions will come from infrastructure levies paid by developers. They must think we are incredibly gullible if we can't see through that ruse. These contributions are quickly used up funding, schools, health centres, social housing and all manner of essential community projects that new housing demands. There is no way such funding can stretch to major road projects. Already air pollution from growing numbers of vehicles is pushing levels beyond legal limits. This causes serious health problems including premature deaths. The pace of plans for housing growth in the area must be drastically scaled back to allow time for new technologies to play their part. They like to talk about sustainable development. Well we say that this is not it!"
For more details on the "Say NO" campaign see http://seeaga.uk/