15mph speed limit to force people out of cars
There is no doubt that English roads are heavily congested at peak time hours, journeys are reduced to a crawl in and around London but many other areas of the country are also experiencing gridlock. A solution to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads will be a monumental task.
The latest Government idea of introducing 15mph speed limits in and around new Eco Towns is causing quiet a lot of controversy. A) Lack of local consultation B) Is housing needed in areas where there is no work and C) Houses with no parking spaces and a yearly charge for laying on public transport will not be very popular...
Weston Otmoor would be a radically different kind of town of 35,000 people built on unspoilt country between Oxford and Bicester next to Junction 9 of the M40. The Weston Front have identified that punitive road tolls of up to £200 at the single road exit from Weston Otmoor would force residents to use new trams and a restored train service on the Oxford, Bicester, Milton Keynes railway. It seems unlikely that people would want to live in such a place.
The Weston Front opposes Weston Otmoor because (detailed document)
Speed limits of just 15 miles-per-hour are to be introduced on major roads in planned new towns across the country as part of an effort to reduce globalwarming.
Caroline Flint, the housing minister, will unveil the measure when she publishes planning guidelines later this week for up to 15 "eco-towns" across the UK, which will house 100,000 people.
Controversial plans for a string of eco-towns have sparked nationwide protests. Demonstrations against the developments have begun two weeks before Housing Minister Caroline Flint is due to announce the 10 locations she has chosen for the first green communities. Local groups are complaining that they have been kept in the dark about proposals to create the towns, some of which involve building 20,000 homes as well as schools and roads, although developers have already submitted their plans to the government. Ministers want to provide thousands of carbon-neutral homes in towns that will have up to 40 per cent social housing to make up for the severe national shortage of cheaper properties.
But protests have already begun in many areas, with the protesters signing petitions and organising marches. Although ministers decided last year not to make public the full list of applicants, individual schemes for greenfield sites, including Derbyshire's National Forest and a town on the edge of the Cotswolds, are now coming to light. In Stoughton, Leicestershire, yesterday, protesters held a march against the Co-operative Group, the insurance and consumer group which is planning to build Pennbury EcoTown with 15,000 homes. In Derbyshire, where the Grovewood development is planned for 5,700 homes, retired headteacher Andrew Otway is helping put together an online petition to Downing Street. He said: 'There has been such secrecy... The proposed development is in the heart of the national forest, the lungs of the Midlands.'
Flint said: 'There is a rigorous process for the selection of bids and only the best will succeed. They must meet tough tests, proving they make best use of brownfield land, safeguard wildlife and habitat areas and provide low and zero carbon technologies and good public transport systems.'
But the Council for the Protection of Rural England(CPRE) is unconvinced and is asking the government to clarify how it will pick the 10 sites. Its planning expert, Kate Gordon, points out that, once the government has put its seal of approval on places, it will be far harder for local authorities to object and justify taking on expensive legal counsel to fight the plans.
'We support the idea of eco-towns, but they must be in the right place and developed in the right way. The most sustainable approach would be to regenerate existing quarters of old towns,' said Gordon.
The campaign to stop an eco-town being built on the edge of the city has now been joined by more than 10,000 people. Petitions have been signed by residents from the city and county against the plans for a 15,000-home new town. Co-operative Estates and English Partnerships have put forward the proposals for the new town between Stoughton, Oadby and Great Glen. The project, called Pennbury, is one of more than 50 bids from around the UK submitted to the Government. A shortlist of about 18 which will progress further is set to be selected in the near future although no date has yet been given. ….see Save England: Campaign Against Stoughton Co-op Eco Town
Tim Henman, the former British tennis number one, is supporting protesters fighting plans for an "eco-town" of 15,000 homes on the edge of the village where he grew up. Anthony and Jane Henman, the parents of the retired sportsman, are leading the revolt in Weston On The Green, Oxfordshire. They feel the carbon-neutral development, to be called Weston Otmoor, would swallow the picturesque village which has a population of 400, and lies to the north-east of Oxford. Mr and Mrs Henman are among villagers who formed a protest group called Here is a link to
the Weston Front. Residents from other villages affected are also getting involved...
Protesters have demonstrated near the site of a proposed eco-town planned for a former Army camp in Warwickshire. The scheme, for 6,000 new homes at Long Marston, is one of more than 50 similar projects across the UK aiming to create carbon-neutral communities. Protesters argue there has not been enough consultation and say the schemes will be an excuse for building houses in inappropriate places. Residents from communities near the proposed sites are among those concerned about the impact they might have. About 200 demonstrators turned up near the proposed site of the Long Marston eco-town on Sunday, carrying placards opposing the site. They fear the new homes will lead to congestion in their villages as the new home owners travel to work and take children to school. ...
Protestors have been making their opposition heard to plans for a 60,000 home eco-town in North Yorkshire. Villagers took drums along to Selby town centre at 1000 GMT in a campaign to show their opposition for the carbon-neutral homes near Kellington. A spokesman for residents said the new town would be double the size of Selby and could take business away from the area and increase traffic and noise. ….
OBJECTIONS to the masterplan for 2,600 new homes at Dunsfold Park have been backed by MPs Anne Milton and Jeremy Hunt. Both politicians expressed concern about the scale of the proposed development when a Conservative Association meeting on boundary changes held in Bramley on Saturday was hijacked by protesters. Tipped off the day before that the possibility of a new eco-town at the airfield was likely to dominate the meeting, Dunsfold Park owner Jim McAllister was also there. “This is like walking into a lion’s den,” he said when invited to respond after the MPs supported residents from across the borough who had spoken out strongly against the scheme. “The reason why Chiddingfold villagers are very concerned is because if you live in Dunsfold and want to catch a train you go to Witley or Milford stations,” said Tim Forrest. Alfold parish council chairman Dr Jenny Masding agreed with objectors living in Hascombe and Chiddingfold that the area did not have the necessary infrastructure to cope with 2,600 homes and the additional traffic it would generate. Mrs Milton said it was “naïve” of Dunsfold Park to think it could get people living in the new development out of their cars and onto the eco-friendly electric monorail ‘road’ link proposed to Cranleigh and Guildford. Mr Hunt said he doubted if the promised public transport system would get built both on grounds of getting planning permission and the funding.….
New eco-town will be located near Oakington, north of Cambridge. The idea off building an eco-town has been on the drawing board for some time but, has come a step closer to being realised now that English Partnerships have bought the land. The ex-military site of 288ha cost the organisation £100m and it’s proposed that 8,000 homes will be created. English Partnerships are committed to building all their new constructions to Eco-homes Very Good standard, so energy and water efficiency will be high on the agenda. Its town centre will contain a mix of shops, restaurants, offices and civic uses, and the neighbourhoods will be well supported by local schools and community facilities. ...
Portsmouth sets 20mph speed limit from 25 March 2008.
Traffic will be limited to 20mph across an entire city from today. Other cities, including Norwich and London, could follow Portsmouth's lead if it cuts road accidents. Traffic bosses claim the move is supported by most people in Portsmouth. Mum Laura King, 32, said: "People shouldn't drive at 30mph past schools where children cross the road. This will put a stop to that. I'm really pleased."….