Saffron Walden resident Sue Armitage sent us a letter to highlight the facile use of new homes Travel Information Packs by Kier to try to make their development sustainable.
I HAVE been very interested to read the Transport Assessment for the Kier development (300 homes to the east of Saffron Walden) which mentions that each new dwelling will be provided with a Residential Travel Pack containing information about cycling and walking route maps and free bus tickets to discourage people from using their cars.
This is in place of providing any actual practical help such as the creation of cycle paths and improved pedestrian facilities. The same Transport Assessment also refers to Broadband access being available in all new homes (at the homeowner’s cost) to facilitate online shopping services and to encourage home working, presumably in an attempt to alleviate the inevitable traffic chaos that will ensue if planning permission is granted.
Surely we should be encouraging people to use our town centre shops, not stay away because the town cannot cope with the additional traffic this number of homes would produce.
Or maybe there is some plan to ‘police’ car use in Saffron Walden in the future? If only we ratepayers were allowed to see what the infamous Highways Report contains – in the meantime I am following Cllr Chamber’s suggestion and preparing my hovercraft complete with gas mask to avoid the traffic fumes all these additional cars will create ……
So are these types of documents pernicious guff or a valuable contribution to sustainability and green issues? It’s hard not to be cynical because we all know that a leaflet left on the floor of a new house won’t really change anything. What residents need is proper infrastructure investment and a solid, funded commitment to sustainability.
With respect to the Kier development it is clear that it is far from sustainable with regard to not only highways, but schools, pollution and sewage too. But we also know that UDC planners are under great pressure from the UDC Cabinet to recommend developing a number of these poor sites on the east of Saffron Walden. Residents will see what UDC’s recommendation is in the next few weeks. Watch this space.