New Aylesbury link road will not work say Hampden Fields campaigners

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An independent transport report commissioned by campaigners fighting proposals for 3,000 homes at Hampden Fields has identified ‘serious flaws’ in revised plans for mitigating traffic concerns surrounding the application.

The Hampden Fields Consortium, which includes developers Taylor Wimpey and Aylesbury College, is trying for a second time to get approval for the new homes near Weston Turville and Bedgrove after an initial application was turned down on appeal by a government inspector.

A core concern highlighted by the inspector was the impact of extra traffic on the gyratory but the developers hope the inclusion of a southern link road, from the A413 to A41, will ease the problem.

However, the Hampden Fields Action Group, which fought the original proposal and is now battling the fresh plan, has commissioned its own traffic report which claims the new proposal could still create ‘havoc’ on the A41 and A413.

The £20,000 report was carried out by London-based independent consultancy firm, Transport Planning Practice, which has worked for blue-chip clients such as John Lewis and Axa, as well as numerous local authorities.

Phil Yerby, chairman of the action group, said: “Everyone seems to think a link road will help – I thought that too before I looked at the facts.

“The unique way Aylesbury has developed with all its infrastructure in close proximity in the centre means placing so many houses around the outside will be devastating.

“Our report is quite technical but there is no doubt what it concludes. It says the council is using an inadequate model to assess traffic for the future of Aylesbury – a really basic, dare I say, schoolboy error, although it does take a significant amount of time to do it properly.

“It says, in any case, the impact of the planned housing growth will have a major and significant effect on the A41, A413, and the gyratory, even if they can actually ever achieve a link road around Aylesbury.

“And it says there is seriously flawed thinking from officers and politicians in pursuing an orbital link-road strategy around Aylesbury when the evidence says it will not work.”

A copy of the report has been sent to Aylesbury Vale District Council.

The Herald reported earlier this month that a Vale planning chief and Weston Turville ward member, Carole Paternoster, believes the new road is a vast improvement which together with an eastern link road will at last form part of a bypass.

Susan Kitchen, the council’s planning manager, said: “We’ve received the independent report and will consider this in detail when the application is due to be considered by the council.”