Garden settlements a distraction from Colchester’s problems

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Excellent letter of support in the Essex County Standard today:

Dear Sir

I agree whole-heartedly with Rosie Pearson (Letters 22 April), that housing and infrastructure should be given more prominence in the forthcoming local elections.

Colchester’s streets are grid-locked, and sprawling suburbs are springing up everywhere.    These suburbs generate ever more traffic.    Why is there no transport plan for Colchester?     We should be planning for mass rapid transit systems, well-connected cycle-ways and, as Ms Pearson suggests, better use of the Colchester-Clacton line and a new station at the University.

I therefore find it extremely worrying that the LibDems and Labour are proposing garden settlements as the solution to the town’s problems.   Instead, they will simply distract attention from the need for something to be done about Colchester’s current problems and create even more pressure on our roads and services.  They simply will not be able to create enough jobs to become self-contained.

A report published this week (‘Laying the tracks:  How transport infrastructure provides the foundation for property development’, by Bircham Dyson Bell) showed that transport is the key to successful housing and that this should be the first thing that our planning officers consider.  We need a strong leader, or perhaps a Transport Tzar, to take on this battle for Colchester and hold Essex County Council to account.

Yours faithfully

J Crookenden