Your Say: Sir Frederick Gibberd and Stort River crossing

General / Sat 3rd Jul 2021 at 02:47pm

Dear Editor,

I HAVE just purchased Town Design by Sir Frederick Gibberd, published in 1953. It is a seminal book by a far sighted man.

Harlow was designed to have two major motorway roads that ran to the west and north to link easily with industrial areas built on those sides of the town: but some numpties then built the M11 to the East! 

That’s why we have had problems with traffic having to cross the whole town ever since.

The A414 has been repeatedly improved from the M11 but it’s never succeeded. Then J7a is added. I could never see how these changes would help Harlow?

The penny has just dropped, how myopic of me. They are not to benefit Harlow. 

J7a, Edinburgh Way Roadworks., Gilden Way and A414 and the potential gridlock congestion weren’t for the benefit of Harlow:  but now the final piece of the jigsaw is revealed. The valley crossing from River Way to Pye Corner, an environmental disaster, the answer is obvious.  

Harlow has been taken for a sucker. All of these changes are so that over the next 25 years of development at Gilston estate, all of the HGV construction and private car traffic to and from Gilston can pollute and congest the Stort Valley & Harlow whilst hidden from the Gilston estate residents  up on the other side of the Valley, and East Herts gathers the Council tax receipts. 

J7a could have gone directly to Gilston and avoided the ecologically sensitive wildlife environment in the valley entirely. 

It could have then gone on to provide an updated version of the road to the North of Harlow as planned by Sir Fred G. 

However, there are better solutions, additionally, now that there’s a mass transport system coming across from Hemel Hempstead to Stansted the potential to link to the central line would eliminate the need or growth of private car journeys. 

The question is, who failed Harlow?

It’s not too late to stop the river valley barrier/ bridge crossing. There’s a petition.


Edward Vine

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7 Comments for Your Say: Sir Frederick Gibberd and Stort River crossing:

Alan Salsbury
2021-07-04 07:54:19

I always thought that the obvious answer was to extend the A414 directly to the m11 avoiding Harlow altogether. However we are where we are so let's be sensible and widen the existing crossing and the remaining parts of the A414

Danny Gleeson
2021-07-04 08:02:49

What is the obsession with linking to the central line when the more economically and environmentally solution would be to simply extend the Oyster card system to Harlow?

2021-07-04 13:03:10

Yes, the A414 needs to go North of the railway and river (in Hertfordshire) rather than through Harlow and therefore join the M11 at the new J7A avoiding the present route through congested roads.

2021-07-05 11:42:33

Widening "the existing crossing and the remaining parts of the A414" is not sensible. We have just had 4 nearly 5 years of disruption while the Edinburgh Way (A414) section was widened in front of Tesco and Templefields. Are we to suffer another 4-5 years of delays and disruption while the rest is widened? Take the route out of Harlow as it originally should have been.

2021-07-06 08:12:28

It was so obvious when the River Crossing was proposed that it would be part of the creation of the rat run through to junction 7A ,via River Way and Cambridge Road . The River Way junction was proposed in 2015 , yet very few people took any notice , let alone object. It’s too late now as the trees have already gone next to the Beefeater.

Mark Aiton
2021-07-06 12:28:34

Good yet sad article, well done Mr Vine. Its true these developments are in no way beneficial to Harlow and it's residents in fact quite the opposite, the council's and the developers have never been out right and up front about any of it, the link road from River Way to Cambridge Road for example, none of the residents within a stones throw of it had any idea it was happening until the trees were cut down, whatever happened to the times they used to show all development with scaled models in the town hall for local residents to see and give opportunities to voice opinions? Make no mistake all these 'seperate' constructions going on are linked to a bigger picture for the developers and at our cost, the disruption is going to go on for a lot long than 4 or 5 years if we let this go ahead, I hope people can see now or start to see the sheer scale of what is happening and put a foot down to say NO this can not be allowed. ....

2021-07-25 17:48:38

This has nothing to do about easing traffic congestion through Harlow its about thousands of new homes to be built.

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