By Village Society Executive Committee - 2nd January 2017 3:30pm
The draft Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan includes a section outlining a traffic management strategy.
Just ahead of the consultation deadline (which closes on Tuesday 3rd January 2017) the Executive Committee of the Haddenham Village Society has submitted a set of comments in respect of that transport strategy.
The comments may appear a little a little technical at first, as they have to reference specific sections of the draft VALP document. However, they address key issues such as the serious parking problems near the station and the need for safer walking and cycling routes, so please be persistent!
The comments are summarised below:
Comments on Aylesbury Transport Strategy
Draft Aylesbury Transport Strategy Summary 2016
Draft Aylesbury Transport Strategy — November 2016
These comments are made from the perspective of Haddenham residents. As such they are limited to Haddenham and are not intended to detract from the enormous amount of work that has gone into the referenced documents.
It was noted that:
a. The Strategic Objectives shown in Ref A include:
- Making it easier and more attractive to travel by active travel and public transport modes.
- Improving journey time reliability.
- Reducing the risk of death or injury on the transport network.
- Contributing to improved air quality by minimising the growth in traffic levels and congestion
b. The geographical area under consideration includes both the Aylesbury Vale Parkway to the northwest of Aylesbury by the A41 and the Haddenham and Thame Parkway to the southwest of Aylesbury close to the A418. (See map on page 7 of Ref A)
c. The map shown of page 10 of Ref A, which defines the sectors in which these improvements will be targeted, includes the Aylesbury Vale Parkway (Sector 1) but does not include Haddenham and Thame Parkway for which there is no sector. As the detailed study is by sector, it follows therefore that the transport improvements listed in table T1 on page 9 of Ref A have not been looked at from the viewpoint of Haddenham. Many of these improvements are of interest to residents of Haddenham, including the much needed provision of safe cycling routes from Haddenham to Aylesbury and Thame.
A major concern in Haddenham is the effect of parking within the local community adjacent to the Parkway, which is there to serve a wide area, not just Haddenham. The attached document includes a number of pictures showing the extant parking difficulties around the Parkway, along Thame Road and at Fort End. Action is in hand to obviate the parking problem along Thame Road by the creation of a clearway. But unless something is done to increase the capacity of the Parkway car park and to reduce significantly the parking charges, it seems likely that the parking problem at Fort End and in many other parts of Haddenham will only get worse. Arriva Ltd, the operator of the 280 bus route through Haddenham, have already made comments about the growing difficulties faced by their drivers as they negotiate their route through Haddenham.
Unless a parking strategy is developed and implemented, the situation can only get more acute as the number of rail passengers increases. For example:
a. Para 3.3.3 in Ref B alludes to the possibility of residents in the west of Aylesbury travelling to Haddenham station for access to London and north to Birmingham and presumably now also Oxford.
b. Table 3.5 on page 44 in Ref B and Table 6.3 on page 70 of Ref B refer to possible new settlement options. Although these have now been temporarily overtaken by events that are causing the redrafting of the VALP, there is a feeling that emerging policy will lead to significant further increases in population.
c. Ref B (page 138) admits that there is no clear parking strategy.
a. Haddenham has been omitted from the detailed studies.
b. The strategic objectives listed in paragraph 2a above are unlikely to be met in the case of Haddenham.
c. There are extant issues with parking in many parts of Haddenham.
d. Policies to address these issues strategically do not seem to be in place.
It is recommended therefore that:
- A SWOT analysis such as that described in section 4 of Ref B should be applied to Haddenham as well as Aylesbury.
- A parking strategy for Haddenham is developed and implemented.
- The parking capacity at the Haddenham and Thame Parkway is increased and the attendant charges reduced or absorbed across all rail fares, making parking apparently free for rail users.
- Greater priority should be given to the provision of safe cycling routes between Haddenham and Aylesbury and between Haddenham and Thame. In particular, improvements to the A418 turn into the Thame Road leading to Haddenham should be implemented as soon as possible.
Graham E. Tyack
Secretary, Haddenham Village Society
1st January 2017
Editor's Note: the full report, including attachments with photographs, can be seen by clicking on the PDF document below the graphic on this page