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Grid Road news, Spring 2019
April 2nd, H5 Portway: despite objections MKC looks likely to approve official guidelines for a huge new housing development in Campbell Park which encourages developers to build pedestrian crossings over busy links in the H5 Portway grid road network. Xplain has warned that every time a pedestrian sets foot on one of these new crossings traffic will have to stop and tailbacks are likely onto the congested roundabouts on H5 Portway. However MKC says these are essential to deliver their ‘vision’ of 1500 new homes overlooking Campbell Park. We say that MKC should forget ‘visions’ and get real! It might be cheaper for developers to build unsafe crossings and toxic ‘City Streets’ rather than decent, MK-style development, but the Council owns all this land on the public’s behalf, and should set higher standards.
Update: after finally listening to the voice of reason MKC has agreed that it’s Development Brief will NOT now encourage house-builders to install pedestrian controlled traffic lights on vital links in the central grid road system (Overgate and Skeldon Gate). Not only will this help protect mature avenues of trees it will also protect pedestrians and cyclists who will be perfectly safe using the original underpasses just a few yards away!
April 4th, H2 Millers Way: Aldi wants to build a new supermarket with a Toucan pedestrian crossing over the H2. Incredibly, MKC Highways department has not objected on safety grounds! Let’s hope Councillors on the Development Control Committee understand the importance of separating pedestrians from traffic and decide to reject the application on 4th April.
Update – Aldi’s application was refused because it would draw business away from Wolverton town centre. Although one member of the planning committee also objected on safety grounds, due to poor access for HGVs, there was no wider debate on the issue of encouraging pedestrians to cross grid roads!
And prior to that – on March 7th MKC approved another Toucan pedestrian crossing between the massive Eastern Expansion Area and the rest of MK. The V4 Watling Street pedestrian crossing will now be joined by another over H4 Dansteed Way, putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk and halting buses and cars. The excuse is that ‘alternative solutions’ to underpasses were agreed years ago and the Council doesn’t have enough money to build underpasses today. We say, that was then – this is now! How about bridges as a second best? Or a cross-party solution to this fiasco? And how about spending some of your huge reserves to keep people safe?