Joanne Devaney

SoCoMMs Project Co-ordinator

Halcrow Group Ltd

Vineyard House

Brook Green Lane

London.

Dear Ms Devaney.

Transport Solutions for the South Coast Preferred Strategy.

As you may already know SCAR was formed in 1994 to fight what was then the threat of a South Coast Superhighway. Whilst over the years we have been pleased that threat has reseeded, nevertheless we are still vigilant.

Our members, as a group and individually, have taken part in roundtables and the Public Inquiries into various road schemes along the coast from Devon to Kent. They were also involved in the Twyford Down and Newbury schemes.

On reviewing the Preferred Strategy Im afraid that the number and size of the road schemes proposed, disappointed our members. They were puzzled by this emphasis on road building, when the study confirms that there is little demand for long distance road travel from one end of the area to the other. Of course in any case, we expect that the need for such expensive schemes would be thoroughly tested through the normal cost benefit analysis exercise, before the strategy was cast in stone.

Apart from the unacceptable damage these schemes will do to areas of outstanding natural beauty, they will have the effect of making road journeys more attractive and therefore reversing any gains in traffic reduction made by the Government.

Our members can agree with Government policy, in as far that we must have the daring to tackle the problem of car dependency and the need to commute and move goods over long distances. Clearly there is massive pressure on Government to provide a sustainable transport system. No Government can ignore the wishes of environmental and transport groups, with a combined UK membership of over 10 million, in their wish to see the environment and the quality of life protected from the worst effects of car culture life styles and more roads.

SoCoMMs must have the courage to reject this culture and instead promote measures, which reduce the need to travel.

Despite being critical of the preferred strategy we do see elements worthy of support. These are:

      Improvements to the South Coast Railways, including:

i)                  The new Stations

ii)                 Improved facilities in-order to increase movements of freight by rail.

iii)                Improving interchange facilities at rail stations

            Priority routes given to busses and the local public transport plans.  

In conclusion we repeat. We strongly disagree with the road building plans and all measures to increase the desirability to use the car or lorry.

 We submit our wish list of elements to be included in the strategy:

            Strictly enforced speed limits

      Rapid implementation of desperately needed Home Zones

      Area wide congestion charging

      Routes made safe for walking and cycling to school and work.

      A modern bus fleet and affordable fares.

      A recommendation to make changes to regional planning so that new developments provide essential services and reduce the need to travel by car.

Yours sincerely 

Ian Brookes

Secretary. 

 

[South Coast Against Roadbuilding (SCAR) was formed in 1994 as an umbrella group to local groups fighting the threat of a superhighway along the south coast].

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