No area is an island unto itself

Our knotty problem 

The traffic debate in our area is long-standing and at times it deteriorates into a fierce joust. Traders need to receive deliveries and some people blame them for creating congestion.  Many vans and lorries mount the pavement to allow motor traffic to flow which worries pedestrians, particularly the elderly and the parents of toddlers, both of whom are likely to be the traders’ best customers.  What we rarely do, when trying to reason on this difficult issue, is to think of the impact of activities and decisions outside our area.

 Beyond our borders but only just 

In January planning permission was given for a new 153 bed Premier Inn in East Road. How will this impact upon us? The hotel has no parking facilities. What this will bring to the Mill Road is difficult to predict. Premier Inn expect that their guests will use public transport. Good.  It is likely that many will arrive by train but what about the journey from the station to East Road? Will the Petersfield stretch of our road be clogged by more and more taxis?

Picture: Keith Heppell, linking from Cambridge Independent website

The upside of the decision is that trees will be planted along East Road and pavements will be widened. Petersfield’s restaurants are likely to thrive as long as visitors are not put off by unruly traffic. 

Our Councillors were constructively critical

City councillor for Petersfield, Kelley Green, Labour, expressed concern, at the meeting, about the environmental impacts of the hotel and asked whether it should be ‘future-proofed’ in its design to mitigate against any change in demand. She was talking about the application of the hotel policy, officers said it contained no upper limit on hotel provision.

‘Future-proofing’ comes from the premise that there is carbon embedded in building construction, so we should avoid building and then demolishing buildings wherever necessary. Councillor Green was also concerned about congestion on East Road, air pollution and the impact of having a newly located bus station within East Road, without any traffic management policy in place for the local area. Mike Davey, city councillor for Petersfield, Labour supported Cllr Green’s reservations about congestion.

Charlotte de Blois
Mill Road resident, Editor Mill Road News.

This post is an edited version of an article in Mill Road News Nº25 Early Spring 2020.

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