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Dry Street pressure groups join forces
7:00pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
TWO campaign groups trying to protect Dry Street have joined forces.
Residents and protesters claim councils are still not listening to their pleas to protect open land and keep people safe.
The Green Action Group, which is fighting plans for 725 homes, and residents trying to reduce the road’s speed limit to 30mph, realised their campaigns were hitting the same brick walls.
Denise Briggenshaw, 46, of The Upway, who started lobbying for a lower speed limit after the death of family friend Justin Bowman in May, said: “Both these campaigns are not being taken seriously enough and there is no transparency from the authorities.
“They makeadecision, then leave so little time to put a case forward that it’s just not possible.
“My issue is with Essex County Council and its transport bossRodney Bass, but to me GAG’s frustrations are exactly the same. People are not listening to us.”
Under proposals for the 725- home estate, Longwood Equestrian Centre would be bulldozed and used as an access route for construction vehicles.
GAG is fundraising and gathering evidence to take the plans to a judicial review to get them overturned.
Miriam Heppell, 52, secretary of GAG, said both campaigns should work together because traffic from the housing estate would bring increased dangers to the road.
She said: “A lot of people will cut through Dry Street to the new housing estate to avoid the Five Bells interchange.
“The amount of traffic will increase three or four-fold, plus there will bealarge amount of wide construction vehicles coming down to access the land via the entrance at Longwood Equestrian Centre. “If someone comes down here at 40mph and meets a lorry, it could be disastrous.”
Mike Goulding, from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency, which is behind the housing plans, said: “A number of transport improvements have been identified through the proposals to improve traffic flow around Dry Street and the Nethermayne areas as part of the outline planning application.
“Partners have also been successful by securing investment from the Government for muchneeded funding to alleviate traffic congestion, which already exists on Nethermayne, through the county council’s ‘pinchpoint’ funding, which they received from the Government.
“The plans will evolve throughamore detailed submission to the local planning authority by the developer Redrow.”
An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “We will ensure the safety record of this road is under continued review by working closely with the police and other partners.
“The current speed limit is appropriate for the road and the current circumstances. If those change, we can look again at whether the limit continues to be appropriate.”
Although highways issues are dealt with by Essex County Council, Basildon Council has stepped in to order signs reading “20’s plenty”.
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