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I cannot agree that current facilities, infrastructure and utilities in West Mersea already exist that could support an 11% increase in housing and population. The simple situation, to be clearly seen this summer, is that we are already swamped by vehicle traffic and can no longer get adequate Doctor or Dentist coverage. Car parking in the summer months has become intolerable to many home owners living in and around the roads nearest to the harbour, as well as in the village centre. Cars park anywhere and everywhere, blithely disregarding yellow lines and notices in Yorick, Firs, Victory, Coast and several other Roads and the Avenues, simply because parking facilities are quite inadequate to cope with existing demand, let alone an 11% increase. All summer it has been practically impossible to drive the length of Yorick Road in a single pass, due to the number of times one has had to stop by a parked car on one side or the other, just to allow oncoming traffic to pass. A one-way road system is not what is wanted, but it is close to becoming an essential requirement. Every new householder now seems to park their one or two extra cars on the pavement or in the street outside, not on their own property. Nobody uses a garage any more, as all new housing just pays lip service to the rules, building the absolute minimum size given by planners.
We urgently need a Park 'n Ride service for visitors set up across the Strood, together with a circular minibus route servicing it. It is easy to predict that there will eventually be a date in the future where, for safety alone, one will need to limit numbers of visitors. Mersea Primary School is stretched to capacity. The Dentists have recently started dropping some patients off their lists, just in order to cope. It is to all intents and purposes a nightmare trying to get a Doctor's appointment, taking often over half an hour of constant telephone dialling just to get connected! Mobile telephone coverage is very poor in many places and telephone line internet services are frequently overwhelmed by demand. We have no serious policing coverage and it is rare to ever see a policeman on the island! When the Strood is covered by the High Spring Tides the queues of traffic on both sides quickly build up to over 100 vehicles, all trapped awaiting the water to ebb away. These queues breed tensions and can, from what I have seen with my own eyes recently, when road works caused a jam, swiftly back up as far as Peat Tye Common, in Abberton, on the one hand and the farms just before Peldon village on the other. Clearing blocked up traffic on the approach road to the Strood from East Mersea, especially after the proposed new housing developments suggested along East Road, will create a massive problem at the Y-junction there, where no priority can be given to them.
Any need to evacuate Mersea Island in the event of a frightful accident, or incident, e.g. a Nuclear Accident at Bradwell, would become quite impossible with any further increase in population.
Need I go on as to why there are so many reasons why Mersea Island is already full to capacity? Its existing infrastructure is already insufficient and seriously creaking at the seams.