Letter to Editor: Harlow just adding to its problems with £170 million project
General / Sun 4th Apr 2021 at 02:25pm
Sirs, This is not good news just a repeated recipe for more congestion, pollution and gridlock.
Like the developments along the A414 from the M11, the Hamburger roundabout, Clock Tower junction development, Gilden Way, Edinburgh Way and routes connected to J7a) is just another nail in the coffin of one failed transport development scheme after another each one not solving, Harlow’s transport problems but adding to them at about £170 million per project.
Another step along a history of lessons not learnt
The cumulative cost is over the last 20 years is equivalent to about a thousand million pounds in concrete that just makes gridlock quicker, raises pollution levels and increases traffic volumes. To this needs to be added at least another billion pounds of consequential costs due to delays, pollution and the like.
The NS EW corridors of their nature will simply add to problems as commuter traffic flow in and out in rush hours, nor will they provide alternative routes for through traffic or cross town traffic.
Harlow needs an outer ring road and an ultra green town plan with park and ride centres with major shops around the perimeter of the town, the town centre to be more ultra green and Arts, leisure and entertainment oriented.
A new outer ring road supported by a defined inner ring road system is the only way to cope with the future transport and traffic burden by providing alternative routes that unlike NS EW corridors do not converge and concentrate traffic.
The £170million project is based on old thinking, pre COVID working patterns and pre alternative energy and does nothing to recognize or address the problems of vastly increased traffic due to large housing developments, much increased population and new industries coming at business and science parks and at Public Health England.
Essex CC has been responsible for one misplaced penny pinch point fund after another and has a failed track for the last 20 years, “guided’ by much the same team of dinosaurs with the same kind of thinking about transport that after the town was purpose built and designed to have the major M11 NS route to the West, then built it on the East!!
Instead of wasting the billion pounds over the years patching one failed scheme upon another it would have been far more sensible to step back and rethink.
It’s not too late to rethink but judging by the past record this won’t happen and the town will suffer disruption for years whilst building takes place over an inordinately long time (years, like Edinburgh Way has).
(Compare, the M1 achieved a mile a year)
Such disruption comes at an ongoing cost to businesses and the health of residents and the town. The sad thing is that at the end of the process we shall still have a wasted failed project that does nothing to improve matters, cuts the town through and further chokes development, the environment, business and the quality of life in Harlow.
It’s time to stop and think 21st century solutions and make Harlow an ultra green town with transport solutions not projects that simply repeat old patterns of thinking and mistakes.