Aylesbury Transport Strategy "Won't Work" - according to report commissioned by Hampden Fields Group.

Phil Yerby, Hampden Fields Action Group
Phil Yerby, Hampden Fields Action Group

Hampden Fields Action Group have commissioned a review of the draft Aylesbury Transport Strategy produced by the Bucks County Council and AVDC questioning the effectiveness of the proposals.

Last year Aylesbury Vale District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council revealed their plans to develop roads and infrastructure around Buckinghamshire with cycle paths, rail links and bus networks to improve the way people travel through Aylesbury. .

A public consultation on the strategy has been running over the Christmas period, and ended earlier this week.

The £5000 crowd funded report, commissioned by the action group, has pointed out a number of ways in which they think the project is set to fail.

Phil Yerby, a spokesman from the group said:

"I realise the council are trying to put a positive spin on things but the reality is a town drowned in traffic with very poor air quality that will lead to economic disaster - who are they trying to fool?

"It's obviously very important that we get this right.

"What this independent report shows is that if you want to put 15,854 houses around Aylesbury, you can do it, but you can't do it without making traffic significantly worse.

"People sit in traffic coming into Aylesbury, not because they want to bypass Aylesbury, but because they want to get into the centre. Therefore a bypass is going to be ineffective.

"We are in a really serious situation here. I won't say it can't be done; it can be done, but if the council push on, we can almost guarantee that we're going to have traffic jams like you get in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Bangkok.

"Any sensible council would look to put some of the development around Aylesbury to the north of it on the Oxford to Cambridge expressway."

Two road side interviews have been conducted for the Aylesbury Transport Model, which asked commuters where their journey begins and ends.

"There needs to be a lot more of these road interviews done, because those were only on two access points into Aylesbury."

"AVDC and Bucks County Council have been pushing a change to get us to cycle and walk over the last 10 years but no discernible shift has happened.

"Do they think by putting new towns on the edge of Aylesbury that people are suddenly going to start walking and cycling into the town?"

We approached Bucks County Council, and Cabinet Member for Transport there Mark Shaw said he welcomed all 250 responses to the consultation, which included a report from the Hampden Fields Action Group.

"All these responses are important, and I'll be looking carefully at the details with the team.

"This is about taking time to look, listen and learn - and redraft if we need to."

Cllr Carole Paternoster, AVDC Cabinet Member for Growth Strategy commented: “The Aylesbury Transport Strategy is part of an overall integrated transport and land use strategy within our draft local plan.

"Aylesbury is to take 15,000 houses as part of our district’s housing growth and half of those have either already been built or are committed with appropriate transport improvements incorporated. We’re working with our colleagues at Bucks County Council to ensure transport links in and around Aylesbury are appropriate now and in the future”.

Simon Horne, a local resident added:

"The addition of further housing is a recipe for bring the town to a total standstill.

"My concerns are not only traffic related, schooling ,medical care and employment are also a priority. We live on Bedgrove and use the Westongrove Surgery this surgery is already stretched to the limit with waiting times of up to 3-4 weeks for an appointment.

"My wife works at the Sir Henry Floyd and my Son finished last year at the Grange both of these schools are finding it harder to cope with the amount of students that are coming into their catchments with as far as I can see no other Secondary schools planned.

"Employment in the area is not being considered either, I personally have for the last 28 years worked in Milton Keynes due to the company I worked for in Aylesbury (Bifurcated and Tubular Rivet Company) closing to make way, for yes, you guessed it, housing.

"My commute used to take 30 minutes from Aylesbury regardless of what time I traveled be it for a day shift or for an night shift, nowadays it can take me 40 to 50 minutes at 5am and as much as an 1 and a half to get to work for 6pm for a night shift.

"I can no longer risk travelling through town on my way for a night shift I have had to resort to leaving town via the A41 towards Tring and cutting across country via Wilstone, Long Marston etc and in doing so see the Aylesbury bound traffic queued as far back as the Aston Clinton Waste recycling turn off and I am sure much of this traffic is commuters returning home to the town as well as through traffic.

"Family members use the rail network and on a regular basis have to travel from Aylesbury into London standing up so even the trains are not currently in a position to cater for more commuters.

"The current developments being built in the Broughton area are well known flood plains and I dread to think what affects this will have for the local area and the problems that will be caused for the Environment Agency regarding removal of water from the area, also we have a sewage system in Rabans Lane that as far as I am aware has not been increased in size to cope with the every growing town when will that become a problem and we have raw sewage flooding our streets and houses?

"In a nutshell the council seem to be only focused on gaining the extra funding and finances that come from agreeing these extra houses rather than putting in place the infrastructure first before they bring extra cars, people and employers to the already stretched systems."

What do you think? Get in touch at: thomas.bamford@jpress.co.uk