Richard Tilden Smith’s says that to compete and win business we must update our infrastructure (17/1/13). What tosh! Trade and jobs comes from meeting consumer demand for products or services, cash-flow and, by reducing imports of cheap consumer products, providing our youth with usefully productive employment. Trade is improved by abundant car parking!
By-passes don’t create consumer demand, they merely move jobs and traffic from one place to another! Has the M25 mobile car-park, 30mph and 20mph restricted urban roads improved anything? No! They simply breed more homes and traffic! Now we have the risible claim from an insurance company that it will increase staffing levels ‘because of the new by-pass’. As most of their trade is by ‘phone, internet or mail, not by footfall, how does a new by-pass increase demand for its insurance?!
Unfortunately our overcrowded South East needs an environmentally sensitive coastal by-pass (like the A27M) - somewhere - yet it is entirely possible to relieve congestion on the A259 with under- and over-passes and free-flowing traffic management, rather than intentionally hampering traffic flow. Unfortunately, it is cheaper to build a rural by-pass, supported by dubious ‘economic justification’, but anyone who has business or government experience knows the biggest porkies told (other than by politicians!) are over-egged Business Plans and Departmental Budgets: present the real economic case, and funding is always denied!
The problem with the A259 is that Ravenside was built at a known bottle-neck, Gas Works Corner. As through traffic accounts for only 1 in 19 vehicles, the by-pass won’t significantly improve local congestion. Ravenside and the industrial estate should have been built alongside a dualled A21 at, say, Mountfield on or by the gypsum mines, with a large new goods marshalling yard for distribution. The near-by recycling plant could generate power from methane, supplementing Mountfield’s underground gas reserves. We could store concrete encased spent nuclear fuel in disused mines and, with its abundant, idyllic prime farmland ideal for housing, Mountfield makes an ideal suburbia for ‘country living’ London commuters and migrants. Over to Richard!
Barry M Jones
Bixley Lane, Beckley