Why we think major road building is not a good idea
For many people, a new road in their mind is merely a narrow line of asphalt which has the magical ability to put an end to the misery of 'that traffic jam'. It is understandable that many people don't think beyond that, but it is our experience that a new road has many other implications.
1. Although people may think: 'finally, less time wasted being stuck in traffic' the problem is that the traffic jam often just moves further down the line to somewhere else.
2. Think what happens after that moment when people say: ' oooh they've opened the bypass or dual carriageway. Soon people make more and longer trips, whether commuting, shopping, leisure or other. The initial perception is that it takes less time to travel now so you can motor f further away. But this doesn't last long!
3. Soon more and more traffic arrives to fill the new road, and of course some of this then travels of connecting routes, making them busier too. As new out-of-town warehousing/business park opens 'on the bypass' at the junction or roundabout, more and more cars arrive and before long the road is full!
4. This is followed by out-of-town retail, drive-throughs, eateries, farm shops, and of course the housing estates.
5.Some people are shocked by all this development on the back of a new road. They see the sheer ugliness of it all, where there was once countryside. The lack of character along the new road system often means it 'could be anywhere'
6. Others complain about the loss of wildlife from the whole area and the severance and noise on places to walk the dog, go out with the family, or a cycle ride.
7. Then they see that the town centre is beginning to close down, because business parks and out-of-town retail and eateries produce the 'inside out' town with more on the edge that the middle. Then even police stations, health centres, leisure centres, residential homes for the elderly and much more opens on the car-based fringe of town.
8. All the car-based development means more traffic zooming around the country lanes and towns - it's no longer the same. Not good for walking, cycling or peace and quiet.
8. How is this kind of development pinned on faster roads, sustainable? How its it low carbon? We think that it quite the contrary. Road building in this context is simply the wrong way to go.