There is a NEW VIDEO which emphasises another aspect of the highways situation - see below.
Video dealing with existing 'additional' roundabout - and with environmental (pollution) issues Title: The Tragic Roundabout https://vimeo.com/495971312
FURTHER VIDEO PROG: There is also a somewhat tedious (but instructive) video showing what happens when a small country road is used as a 'rat run' when the principle route (B1012) is partially or completely obstructed.
The title is The Edwin's Hall Road Saga and it can be found at: https://vimeo.com/470541365
Mike Benning provides a brief update on the 'highways' situation in the lead up to the important 'decision making' meeting on 14th January - Link to video update - https://vimeo.com/488547633
Incidentally, there are comments relating to the highways situation on the Neighbourhood Plan website. The link is https://consult.chelmsford.gov.uk/portal/neighbourhood_planning/swf_reg_16/swf_reg_16 Click on 'All Comments.'
There are also comments about another aspect of the town's infrastructure ... healthcare e.g.:
Mr Danny Claridge: I can find no provision in the plan for extra health care facilities, already the new medical centre is showing it is inadequate to handle the current population, both logistically to reach for many and parking spaces insufficient for those that can get there. A restoration of some health facilities to the town centre should be conditional on any further development.
Dr John Cormack There are mentions of health - but very little mention of healthcare. Neighbourhood plans produced elsewhere now also encompass healthcare - see: 'Neighbourhood Plan - Infrastructure Group Response' https://www.dropbox.com/sh/97erekewuxxw0y7/AAA6NnZECgwChHYzt1f2QwlTa?dl=0
This is of particular importance in South Woodham as the town was built without any plans for provision of primary healthcare and this has remained the 'Cinderella service.'
Alan Harper - Another worry is medical facilities.
THIS IS OUR UPDATE ON A RECENT TOWN COUNCIL MEETING DURING WHICH INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES ETC WERE DISCUSSED WITH THE DEVELOPERS AND OTHER RELEVANT PARTIES.
INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRESS REPORT
We were invited to participate in a meeting between the Town Council and the Developers. There was an initial presentation during which we were regaled with the usual twaddle about sustainability, motherhood and apple pie. We were told that there would be one new tree for every resident - and were shown visuals depicting greenery and happy smiling faces. They talked about high-quality pedestrian and cycle ways - “over 10 kilometres" of them seemingly - and said there would be improvements to public transport.
There was no clear sign of a proposal for a northern ring road. The crossings and roundabouts planned for the Burnham Road remain.
We thought the counsellors present acquitted themselves very well in that they said what we (and you) would have said had we been in their place.
The developers seemed to be rowing back on the number of houses that will be built. At one time it was rumoured there would be as many as 1600. Jacky Birch asked for confirmation that 1200 houses was the TOTAL allocation. This was given. She mentioned that several of the SWF roads are already over capacity, made it clear that traffic is one of the main problems and emphasised that the council have not yet been shown the traffic survey done in February. She said: “We get gridlock now – we are going to be stationary!" It was pointed out (yet again) that traffic volume surveys done so far had NOT been done during 'rush hour'.
Alan Sherring told the developers that they had only played with the problem and hadn’t addressed the fundamentals. He said that the residents have no confidence in the plans for the roads and the counsellors are also concerned. He reminded the developers that “when it goes pear shaped you won’t be around."
The developers returned to their theme and told us that, as well as more bike and pedestrian movements, there will be more public transport and (cheerfully ignoring the likelihood that most of the families living in the new houses will have more than one car) they confidently predicted there will be less vehicles on the road. They said they plan to “change people's travel behaviour" and to that end they will “incentivise people to travel by other means" ... worthy aims but are they realistic?
We were told that Countryside has an "excellent relationship" with bus companies.
A.S. injected a touch of reality by pointing out the major deficiencies in public transport in SWF and said that Council representatives had found it very heavy going whenever they tried to press for improvements.
Murrough O’Brien, who chaired the meeting pointed out that South Woodham is unique –unlike Chelmsford where there are numerous escape routes. Here the access and egress routes are limited. He mentioned that there is no direct bus service to Southend, Maldon or Broomfield (all of which have hospitals). He said that, at one time, somebody found it was quicker to get to the Royal Free Hospital, London, for a morning MRI scan then it was to get to Broomfield hospital.
He mentioned concerns about the 'surface crossings' on the Burnham Rd – at peak times large numbers of schoolchildren (many with bikes) will be travelling to & from the Willy D school – and he feels the Master Plan should include something safer and more practical.
A gentleman from the Dark Side who had previously given the impression that he thought the entire highways problem could be sorted out by reconfiguring the roundabouts countered by saying that the difficulty with underpasses is "where are you come out on the other side". He seemed to think that the existing crossings can somehow be turned into a satisfactory solution and said that they will submit a transport assessment. Having waffled on for a time he said “I don’t think (traffic) surveys mean terribly much” and claimed that his traffic assessment will “provide context."
MB delivered a last kick in the goolies. He said we need to see the evidence base NOW as the council has been shown the evidence far too late thus far. He also pointed out that what evidence there is does not include data about Maldon and Bradwell - and traffic from Maldon district developments.
Our impression is that the developers' hidden agenda is to do everything possible to create smokescreens and avoid addressing the real problems.
So what next? The Town Council needs to come up with a firm plan for the Burnham Rd predicament and ideally (if time allows) run it past the residents as this will strengthen their case. It is blindingly obvious that the present plan for the Burnham Rd is going to create major problems for drivers from SWF and much of the Dengie but the difficulty is making the point forcefully enough to make the decision makers take notice.
We are, meanwhile, liaising with all the local Parish Councils (some of which are VERY proactive/supportive) as well as the Maldon Council and CCC on the basis that there's strength in numbers. The survey results (confirming overwhelming opposition to the existing plan for the roads) has been very well received. If everyone pulls together there's a good chance of victory.
Woodham Infrastructure Group
For those who want further information, The Town Council will presumably be publishing the minutes in due course on its website.