Or­bital vi­sion put for­ward in re­sponse to pe­ti­tion

Res­i­dent calls for by­pass around Ayles­bury as road net­work strug­gles with traf­fic vol­ume

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

THE

The pe­ti­tion, or­gan­ised by res­i­dent Kevin Cox, which drew 3,419 sig­na­tures, was wel­comed by Greater Ayles­bury Lo­cal Area Fo­rum (LAF) on Thurs­day June 22.

Mr Cox’s pe­ti­tion says the frag­ile road net­work around Ayles­bury can no longer cope with the vol­ume of traf­fic gen­er­ated by a pop­u­la­tion in­crease over the past few years.

It also calls for se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion for a by­pass around Ayles­bury.

Buck­ing­hamshire county coun­cil­lor Brian Roberts, who chairs the LAF, said the pe­ti­tion’s de­mands were be­ing dealt with through the Ayles- bury Trans­port Strat­egy, de­vel­oped by the county coun­cil dur­ing the past few years.

“The trans­port strat­egy plans a se­ries of new link roads that form a com­plete cir­cuit around Ayles­bury fed by eight ex­ist­ing ra­dial spokes,” said Cllr Roberts.

“These roads aim to di­vert cross-town and through-town traf­fic around the out­side and help achieve what pe­ti­tion­ers are cam­paign­ing for.”

Linked with bet­ter cycling, walk­ing and public trans­port, the or­bital route’s aim is to add ca­pac­ity to help re­duce the im­pact of growth, he added.

“I wel­come the pe­ti­tion and the sug­ges­tions made,” he said.

“This demo­cratic process re­ally does help to get mat­ters of public con­cern like this on to the lo­cal agenda.”

Mark Shaw, deputy leader and trans­port cab­i­net mem­ber, said he, too, wel­comed Mr Cox’s pe­ti­tion.

“I be­lieve the pe­ti­tion­ers are push­ing at an open door,” he said.

“Our vi­sion for an or­bital route cre­at­ing more ca­pac­ity in the net­work isn’t a mil­lion miles away from their sug­ges­tion – it’s what we’d love to do, given the money.”

He said the vi­sion could not be re­alised overnight, al­though two sec­tions – the Western Link Road and the Stock­lake Ur­ban Link – were al­ready com­plete, thanks to gov­ern­ment grant fund­ing and con­tri­bu­tions from de­vel­op­ers.

Other sec­tions to the east, link­ing the A41 with the A418, and in the south, link­ing to a new Stoke Man­dev­ille by­pass, are ex­pected to be built dur­ing the next three years, with sec­tions to the west and north-east still just lines on a map.

“Com­plet­ing the or­bital route may be a few more years away,” said Cllr Shaw. “There’s no bot­tom­less county coun­cil purse.

“Our plans have to be funded by statu­tory con­tri­bu­tions paid by housing de­vel­op­ers along with funds we bid for from the gov­ern­ment, but we’re look­ing at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to raise the nec­es­sary fund­ing.”

The Ayles­bury Trans­port Strat­egy was based on a ‘worst sce­nario’ growth in the num­ber of house­holds of 40% by 2033. In that time the num­ber of lo­cal jobs was pro­jected to grow from 62,000 to 80,000.

The strat­egy em­braces as­pi­ra­tions from the Greater Ayles­bury Gar­den Town bid and the Town Cen­tre Im­prove­ment Plan and feeds into the Vale of Ayles­bury Lo­cal Plan.

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