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Letter to Editor: Is Harlow Council’s tramway proposal off the rails already?

News / Sat 5th Dec 2020 at 11:30am

Letter to the editor.

Harlow Council’s tramway proposal.

READERS taking a look at the Cabinet meeting held last Thursday may, for the first time, have witnessed the animosity which exists between Labour and Conservative councillors, born out of differences stemming from Westminster.

The filming of these meetings does nothing to enhance the reputation of the town and was one of the key reason why Harlow’s only independent party, The Harlow Alliance Party was formed in 2018.

Our aim is to form a consensus of opinion for the good of Harlow and the residents who live here, not bound by national politics.

The creation of Harlow and Gilston Garden Town will see the population of the extended town increase from 90,000 to 150,000. Services will be provided by three Councils, Harlow, Epping Forest and East Herts and two county councils, Essex and Hertfordshire. We believe, evidenced at last Thursday’s meeting that this situation cannot be sustsained in the future, with decisions being made in five council chambers. 

What is probably most of concern is that councillors from both parties have agreed to the creation of this extended town without having any clue as to how the huge strain on the transport infrastructure will be mitigated. The stated aim is to get 60% of the travel taken by new residents to use public transport, cycle or walking and 50 % for existing residents. This will still mean a large increase traffic on Harlow’s roads, because of the towns huge increase in population.

Harlow’s Labour council have for well over a year touted the idea of a tramway, we believe to try and sell the idea that building one will encourage enough residents out of their cars therefore reducing the traffic congestion on Harlow’s roads.

We welcome the idea of a study into this proposal which we feel will unfortunatly fall at the first hurdle because of the cost to build and run it in the future and the proposal is not supported by Essex County Council.

Where for example will the tramway stop to pick up passegers, how will this benefit residents who live half a mile or more from a stop, what about services to the retail park?

We are concerned that at best residents in the new homes at Gilston will see a tramway built to the station, as pictured by the publicity picture shown.

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Comments

Novoman

Before committing to a tramway ALL Counsellors should go to Nottingham and talk to residents: their tramways cost millions, caused massive congestion whilst being built and because of long distances between stops makes getting around more difficult. In short a disaster. Modern trams are built to a very high spec, are very comfortable but extremely costly. Better invest in a fleet of fuel cell and hydrogen buses and cheap electric taxis running around town and from park and ride locations NSEW on the perimeter of town and much better dedicated safer cycle tracks, north and south by passes ring road and no more new roads internally. Do the research before buying into trams or new roads. Old ideas have been shown not to work, trams for Harlow were mooted by Doug Patterson (town ceo) 25 years ago.

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1 Comment for Letter to Editor: Is Harlow Council’s tramway proposal off the rails already?:

novoman
2020-12-06 08:35:18

Before committing to a tramway ALL Counsellors should go to Nottingham and talk to residents: their tramways cost millions, caused massive congestion whilst being built and because of long distances between stops makes getting around more difficult. In short a disaster. Modern trams are built to a very high spec, are very comfortable but extremely costly. Better invest in a fleet of fuel cell and hydrogen buses and cheap electric taxis running around town and from park and ride locations NSEW on the perimeter of town and much better dedicated safer cycle tracks, north and south by passes ring road and no more new roads internally. Do the research before buying into trams or new roads. Old ideas have been shown not to work, trams for Harlow were mooted by Doug Patterson (town ceo) 25 years ago.

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