Local Plan

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Representation 1079 on Preferred Options Local Plan by William Bramhill

Support / Object: OBJECT
Document Link: Preferred Options Local Plan - Strategic Issues and Policies, Infrastructure and Connectivity, SP4: Infrastructure and Connectivity
Representation: Transport section needs to be far more robust.

Original submission

This section of the local plan is simply not robust. There are plans for major new road capacity but only vague promises of bus/cycle/pedestrian infrastructure - ie, a continuation of what has gone before, with all the problems that entails. The effect of the new roads will be to vastly increase urban traffic and reduce the quality of urban living, worsening public health, unless some form of restraint is put in place, either filtering as in London's mini Hollands but on a town-wide basis, or a congestion charge. It really is very discouraging to see a proposal that is so weak in this respect when the problems are well known and can be accurately anticipated; the county transport plan is well past its sell-by date and should be disregarded in this respect. The Plan should at least contain a vision of towns of the future, with targets for cycle/bus use (cycling was 34% in the late Forties) and some guidance on how the politicians can reconcile the conflict between a sustainable transport system and the current car dominated position. Cars are already strangling our town economy (shoppers say: I avoid Colchester because of the jams) so we need to do something, and quickly.

Another factor to consider would be the effect of an oil shock, as in the 1970s. Beginning to build in resilience by reducing the town's dependence on oil/cheap electricity may pay off handsomely in the not so distant future. Peak oil is back on the agenda, electric cars are not yet taking off as expected, and the world (and national politics!) is more topsy turvy than at any time since the end of the Second World War.

NB please note that I have also commented (not objected) as an officer of Colchester Cycling Campaign. I am not anti-car (I drive a Saab) but I am realistic about transport and most wary of Essex's continuing one-sided approach.

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