Below is the Official press release from the Essex Wildlife Trust. Please note that this survey was not set up by the EWT, it was set up by the warden of one of the nature reserves. 8 January 2007 PRESS RELEASE A CALL FOR ACTION - SAY NO TO A LINK ROAD WHICH WOULD TRASH THE CHELMER VALLEY Essex Wildlife Trust opposes all three options for a new link road across Chelmer Valley between Essex Regiment Way (A130) and Broomfield just north of Chelmsford.+ Essex County Council has highlighted the problems caused by traffic congestion at peak times along the A130 and A131 and has proposed 5 possible options (A B C D or E) to connect from the A12 near Boreham to the A131 north of Little Waltham. In addition, ECC have highlighted the traffic problems getting from the A130 to Broomfield and particularly to Broomfield Hospital and ECC have proposed the three possible options of the Cross Valley Link Road. All three options would cause massive damage to the special landscape area of Chelmer Valley, to important wildlife sites and nature reserves and to the enjoyment and recreation of many local people in this area. Option 1 would cut through the north part of Newlands Grove Nature Reserve, a superb 8 acre site of grassland and woodland which Essex Wildlife Trust has looked after for over 20 years. It supports over 200 plant species such as cowslips and violets, over 90 bird species including song thrushes in the woodland and kingfishers on the banks of the Chelmer, and a wide range of important insects. The walks through grassland glades, woodland and along the river bank are enjoyed by many local people as well as Trust members. Option 2 would cut Little Waltham Meadows Nature Reserve in half, reduce its size from 22 acres and make the remaining bits less valuable to wildlife and more difficult to look after. Essex Wildlife Trust purchased this site over 10 years ago as a result of a special appeal. It consists of a series of fine flower rich meadows along the banks of the River Chelmer which are home to protected species such as otter, kingfisher, water vole and a great diversity of flowering plants and insects such as dragonflies. Option 3, like Option 1 and 2, would cut across the Special Landscape Area of Chelmer Valley and destroy the superb character and views which are enjoyed by many local people who walk the river bank of the Chelmer and the inter-connecting footpaths. ECC will begin to make decisions in March 2007 on which, if any, of these options can be taken forward. \"The Cross Valley Options are just not on,\" said John Hall, Director of Essex Wildlife Trust. \"We have made strong representations to Essex County Council. Now is the time to make it absolutely clear to Councillors that they cannot damage this fine section of the Essex countryside which is so important for a wide range of plants and animals and which so many local people value for a quiet relaxing walk along the river valley.\" Essex Wildlife Trust appreciates that there are traffic congestion problems at peak times on this section of the A130 and that there is, from time to time, congestion relating to Broomfield Hospital. Local people expressed their concerns in the ECC consultation held in 2006 when 75% of respondents said that their most important concerns were to both minimise traffic congestion and minimise the impact on the environment. We must not try to solve this traffic congestion problem by blasting a new road through the superb environment and nature reserves of the Chelmer Valley
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