Say No to Stafford Western Access Road
Staffordshire County Council is proposing the building of a new road (www.staffordshire.gov.uk/westernaccess). STAR (Stop The Access Road - www.staffordstar.org.uk) opposes these plans and believes the answers to congestion lie in an integrated transport policy, including prioritising cycling and walking, a sensible bus service, Stafford Bus Station and Park and Ride schemes.
• THIS IS NOT A FAIR CONSULTATION because you are not being given time to consider the facts. Why is the consultation being held over the busy Christmas and New Year period? At best, the timing is ill-judged and unfair, and at worst appears to have been planned to minimise the chance of serious debate and involvement by the public. Did you know about these plans? Did the County Council inform you? Are they trying to ‘pull the wool’ over our eyes?
• WHAT WILL IT COST YOU? These kinds of projects often go over budget. The Government puts contracts like this out to tender and then has to accept the lowest bid, so the companies wanting the contract simply put in the lowest realistic offer. Once the deal is done any spending over the agreed budget is guaranteed by the Government and picked up by the tax payer. That is why these schemes often double in cost. Staffordshire County Council is avoiding the issue of who would pay for any overspend. Would it be added to our Council Tax bills?
• CLIMATE CHANGE affects each and every one of us. Going against both the perceived scientific wisdom and the UK Government's 2007 Climate Act, (which obliges the nation to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050), this road would encourage more carbon emissions. Stafford needs an integrated transport policy which takes a long-term view.
• A TERRIBLE IMPACT ON WILDLIFE in the Doxey Marshes nature reserve would be the result from all of the proposed routes. Doxey Marshes is such important area for wildlife it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The noise and disruption caused while constructing the road and from the increased traffic may scare away some very rare animals which may never return. This would be a tragic loss to one of Stafford’s most important areas.
• THIS IS NOT A BYPASS BUT AN ACCESS ROAD, as its main purpose would be to provide access to Burleyfields, the remaining stretch of green, farming land around Stafford Castle between the Newport Road, Doxey Road and M6. There are plans build an estimated 2,000 houses with £5 million of the costs for the road being met by developers.
• IT WILL NOT REDUCE CONGESTION because building thousands more homes will mean putting thousands more cars on our roads, making noise and air pollution worse while doing nothing to sort Stafford’s worst traffic problems on the Lichfield and Wolverhampton Roads. Claims that this road would ease congestion when the M6 is shut do not stand up because all diverted traffic would simply bottleneck at Foregate Street and the Wolverhampton Road.
• THE MONEY WOULD BE BETTER SPENT ELSEWHERE. At a time when public services are facing the worst cuts in living memory should the money not be saved for essential services? £31 million pounds is the equivalent of a new secondary school (£25) million, three new GP run health centres, the salary for around 1000 nurses or 700 teachers.
Many similar proposals, such as the original plans to build on Burleyfields and those to sell off parts of Rowley Park, Stafford Common and Coton Field Allotments, have been stopped through campaigns by Stafford residents in the past. - This case is no different.We can win this if we want to.
Please Get Involved
- Please take one minute to fill in the survey (http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/static/snap/survey/hwstwaccess1109.htm) and give the following answers, 1. Strongly Disagree, 2. Do nothing, 3. Yes, 4. Stafford does not need more roads. It needs an improved and integrated public transport policy, including prioritising cycling and walking, a sensible bus service, Stafford Bus Station being built and extensive and affordable Park and Ride schemes.
- Please sign this petition. We, the undersigned, call for Staffordshire County Council to drop the proposed Stafford Western Access Road. We also call for an improved and integrated public transport policy for Stafford, including prioritising cycling and walking, a sensible bus service, Stafford Bus Station being built and extensive and affordable Park and Ride schemes.
The Staffordshire County Council proposal website - http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/transport/staffshighways/schemeinfo/westernaccess