STRATFORD’S traffic-choked town centre could be eased by relief roads near Shottery and Tiddington.
So says Stratford District Council and Warwickshire County Council’s draft transport strategy, which is now available for people to read and comment on.
But residents in the two villages were far from convinced it was the answer when the proposal was outlined at a traffic summit at Stratford ArtsHouse, hosted by MP Nadhim Zahawi and presented by district infrastructure spokesman Coun Robert Vaudry.
The top priority outlined in the plan is to ease congestion on the Birmingham Road with a western link road between Alcester Road and Birmingham Road which would create an alternative route for traffic.
And a proposed eastern relief road, which could run from the Baraset Barn on Tiddington Road over the river, is one solution outlined to discourage HGVs from traveling over the Clopton Bridge. Currently some 800 large lorries cross the historic bridge each year, and the strategy also highlights the possibility of putting a restriction on when and if large vehicles can use the route across the Avon.
Residents in Luddington and Shottery were quick to register their opposition to the two mile western relief road earmarked to run from the Shipston Road to Evesham Road near the racecourse which was included in the district council’s core strategy. It would be funded by Cala Homes which is building homes on Long Marston airfield.
Stratford resident and spokesperson for the Stratford Residents Action Group, Marion Homer said: “We have seen nothing in this strategy to prove the need for the so-called South Western Relief Road.
“This road, still subject to planning permission, will substantially increase traffic on the Evesham Road and if you think the Birmingham Road is bad you’ve seen nothing yet!
“The impact will be immense, totally urbanising this corner of Stratford, a riverside location enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
“It will bring HGVs into Shottery and increase the risk of flooding to residents homes in an already flood prone area.”
And Coun Vaudry warned the summit the eastern relief road could come at a cost of some 2,000 homes – with a strong possibility for funding the road being including the cost in an agreement with potential developers.
This possibility was not well received by residents at the summit.
Improved park and ride facilities, a focus on long stay parking out of the town centre and better provisions for pedestrians and cyclists are also included in the strategy.
Encouraging people to walk, cycle and use park and ride services will also help reduce the number of cars in the town and the plan hopes to compliment the town’s draft Neighbourhood Plan which would see the town centre give priority to pedestrians and cyclists.
People are invited to comment on the draft transport strategy until March 23.
The district and county councils are hoping the plans could be formally adopted as soon as July. Visit askwarks.wordpress.com to read and comment on the plans.