Town plan delayed over traffic survey

Disappointed – Louise Nicholls has put her wedding on hold

Disappointed – Louise Nicholls has put her wedding on hold

First published in News by

RADICAL plans to completely transform Hadleigh town centre have ground to a halt again.

The plans feature ambitious proposals to restrict traffic between the old fire station and Rectory Road, to try to boost trade by closing part of London Road for parking.

A final decision on the plans was expected in March. However, this was postponed when the findings of a traffic survey conducted in November, assessing whether the new traffic layout would work, were deemed invalid due to the effect of traffic jams at Sadlers Farm.

A new survey was arranged for March, but that has now been pushed back to September due to the £63million Sadlers Farm roadworks overrunning, the remodelling of Tarpots roundabout, Benfleet, and the Olympics at Hadleigh Farm.

Critics argue the traffic survey, costing £30,000 each time, is being re-done to ensure the council gets the result it wants.

David Hurrell, 57, of Willow Walk, Hadleigh, said: “This is the third time it has done this survey and it just seems like it will keep doing it until it gets the result it wants.

“The whole masterplan hinges on making the High Road open to two-way traffic, so delaying the survey is just bringing it all to a grinding halt.”

If the plan is approved, the High Street would become two way, with the section of London Road through the town centre converted to allow roadside parking for shoppers.

Motorists travelling east will be able use the pedestrianised section to access Rectory Road, but will be unable to join London Road.

Concerned residents have packed out six council meetings about the masterplan over concerns the layout will not work.

Malcolm Brown, 58, of Conifers, Hadleigh, said: “It is very important the survey gives a true reflection of how the roads will be affected, but we have already seen the Canvey masterplan delayed for quite a long time so we could see the same here.

“I think a lot of people believe this layout will not work and have yet to see proof otherwise.”

A spokesman from Castle Point Council said: “The Hadleigh Traffic Survey has not taken place because we need to have normal traffic conditions to get an accurate picture of traffic flows.

“The delays to Sadlers Farm and work at Tarpots have meant we haven’t yet been able to do the survey and it won’t now be done before the second week in September due to abnormal traffic conditions created by the Olympics and school holidays.”

A YOUNG businesswoman has been forced to put her wedding day on hold because of the Hadleigh masterplan.

Louise Nicholls, 28, owner of Atlantis Beauty, in High Street, Hadleigh, says her life has been left in limbo as the decision keeps getting put back.

If approved, the £60million regeneration would see her business demolished to make way for the Church Path part of the development.

However, as long as the future of her business hangs in the balance, Miss Nicholls has been unable to set a date for her wedding over concerns she may have to invest in relocating.

She said: “We told them all along not to do the survey in March because of all the roadworks at Sadlers Farm, but they refused to listen and just wasted the money. I don’t understand why it costs so much they should just give me the £30,000 and I will go put cones out in the road, and block it off for a few days for a trial run. That’s all it would take.

“It is just so frustrating. My fiance and I wanted to get married this year, but we can’t until I know whether I am staying or going. At this rate I am never going to get married.”

Comments (12)

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2:54pm Fri 1 Jun 12

quiksilver100 says...

Waiting for normal traffic conditions seems like the sensible thing to do. No point rushing into something based on false data for the sake of waiting a few months.
Waiting for normal traffic conditions seems like the sensible thing to do. No point rushing into something based on false data for the sake of waiting a few months. quiksilver100
  • Score: 1

4:13pm Fri 1 Jun 12

mauwoman says...

Surely if they allow access to Rectory Road through the pedestrianised section, when traffic builds up on the High Road that will become a rat run via Church Road.
Surely if they allow access to Rectory Road through the pedestrianised section, when traffic builds up on the High Road that will become a rat run via Church Road. mauwoman
  • Score: 1

5:23pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Truth Will Prevail says...

Good! They shouldn't rush into something that could have catastrophic consequences for Hadleigh. Just hope they monitor the effects on the Benfleet Road, Kiln Road, Rayleigh Road etc because that is where most of the problems will occur. Reducing the lanes through Hadleigh is lunacy, back to the bad old days before the dual carriageways were installed and the traffic was regularly backed up either side of Hadleigh.
Good! They shouldn't rush into something that could have catastrophic consequences for Hadleigh. Just hope they monitor the effects on the Benfleet Road, Kiln Road, Rayleigh Road etc because that is where most of the problems will occur. Reducing the lanes through Hadleigh is lunacy, back to the bad old days before the dual carriageways were installed and the traffic was regularly backed up either side of Hadleigh. Truth Will Prevail
  • Score: 1

6:15pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Dan223 says...

The traffic will be a nightmare, they should be adding lanes rather than reducing lanes. Two lanes both way right through hadleigh to thames drive!
The traffic will be a nightmare, they should be adding lanes rather than reducing lanes. Two lanes both way right through hadleigh to thames drive! Dan223
  • Score: 4

7:35pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Truth Will Prevail says...

Dan223 wrote:
The traffic will be a nightmare, they should be adding lanes rather than reducing lanes. Two lanes both way right through hadleigh to thames drive!
Yes, yes, yes please!
[quote][p][bold]Dan223[/bold] wrote: The traffic will be a nightmare, they should be adding lanes rather than reducing lanes. Two lanes both way right through hadleigh to thames drive![/p][/quote]Yes, yes, yes please! Truth Will Prevail
  • Score: 0

8:29pm Fri 1 Jun 12

save southend says...

remind me , hadleigh thats the congested bit of one of the busiest a roads in essex and they want to do what , shut part of it down for what, parking so a few old dears that cant get into morrisons can park oh and pay to park, so who is behind this scheme !
remind me , hadleigh thats the congested bit of one of the busiest a roads in essex and they want to do what , shut part of it down for what, parking so a few old dears that cant get into morrisons can park oh and pay to park, so who is behind this scheme ! save southend
  • Score: 3

12:33am Sat 2 Jun 12

bob64 says...

Typical council squanders the cash on useless surveys and doesnt even publish the results. I bet someone is getting a backhander here, every time another survey is commissioned.
Typical council squanders the cash on useless surveys and doesnt even publish the results. I bet someone is getting a backhander here, every time another survey is commissioned. bob64
  • Score: 1

4:00am Sat 2 Jun 12

APR says...

They will probably do a survey during the school holidays, when there is half of the amount of traffic.
They will probably do a survey during the school holidays, when there is half of the amount of traffic. APR
  • Score: 0

10:17am Sat 2 Jun 12

Sweet P says...

save southend wrote:
remind me , hadleigh thats the congested bit of one of the busiest a roads in essex and they want to do what , shut part of it down for what, parking so a few old dears that cant get into morrisons can park oh and pay to park, so who is behind this scheme !
No save southend none of us "old dears" want this we can remember the old days before one way traffic was introduced to London Rd and High Street. One way traffic really helped reduce congestion. Most of the people trying to bring this regeneration about probably do not live here!
Making a rat run through Church Road past the school - crazy!
[quote][p][bold]save southend[/bold] wrote: remind me , hadleigh thats the congested bit of one of the busiest a roads in essex and they want to do what , shut part of it down for what, parking so a few old dears that cant get into morrisons can park oh and pay to park, so who is behind this scheme ![/p][/quote]No save southend none of us "old dears" want this we can remember the old days before one way traffic was introduced to London Rd and High Street. One way traffic really helped reduce congestion. Most of the people trying to bring this regeneration about probably do not live here! Making a rat run through Church Road past the school - crazy! Sweet P
  • Score: 1

12:26pm Sat 2 Jun 12

Truth Will Prevail says...

Clearly most Councillors do not remember how bad the traffic congestions was before they installed the dual carriageway one way system. Their crazy ideas would be justified if there was less traffic on the road but there isn't, there's a lot more and traffic levels are predicted to keep on rising for a long time yet which makes reinstating the single lanes pure madness. Why is that some people seem to lose their common sense marbles when they get elected as Councillors?
Clearly most Councillors do not remember how bad the traffic congestions was before they installed the dual carriageway one way system. Their crazy ideas would be justified if there was less traffic on the road but there isn't, there's a lot more and traffic levels are predicted to keep on rising for a long time yet which makes reinstating the single lanes pure madness. Why is that some people seem to lose their common sense marbles when they get elected as Councillors? Truth Will Prevail
  • Score: 1

7:06pm Sat 2 Jun 12

UK Fan says...

Personally, I'd prefer more incentives to use public transport. I realise that drivers are unlikely to favour such an approach since more and more people base their decissions on accessability by road.

The problem will therefore prevail. There is no way of knowing how much the increase in individual use of motorcars will be over the next, say decade. Predictions are all very well and good but if you build yet another bypass and trafic is recuded for some reason, councillors will inevitably be blamed again for the waste of money and the spoiling of the landscape.

You will always be fighting a losing battle on that front.

For the past five years we have solely relied on public transport and yes, it can be a pain at times, especially if you rely on Arriva, probably the single worst provider ever but on the upside, the money saved is literally in the thousands and thousands. For the two of us we pay about as much as we would for one years worth of insurance and that for one car.

Britain still has one of the finest public transport systems in Europe and I should know, where we used to live in Germany all the weekend there would be maybe 10 buses running, with the last one spot on 7pm. Some incentive to leave the car at home when going out for a drink.

The more people switch, the better trafic congestion gets and running times of buses will improve. It is not public transport that is making our already congested roads spill over and have people stuck in trafic for ages.

But as long as the attitude is like that of one of our neighbours, he recently told us full of pride that in all his motoring life he had not walked the 50 yards to the corner shop at the top of our road I guess improvements are somewhat unlikely and one has to hope for some sense being instilled by ever increasing fuel prices.
Personally, I'd prefer more incentives to use public transport. I realise that drivers are unlikely to favour such an approach since more and more people base their decissions on accessability by road. The problem will therefore prevail. There is no way of knowing how much the increase in individual use of motorcars will be over the next, say decade. Predictions are all very well and good but if you build yet another bypass and trafic is recuded for some reason, councillors will inevitably be blamed again for the waste of money and the spoiling of the landscape. You will always be fighting a losing battle on that front. For the past five years we have solely relied on public transport and yes, it can be a pain at times, especially if you rely on Arriva, probably the single worst provider ever but on the upside, the money saved is literally in the thousands and thousands. For the two of us we pay about as much as we would for one years worth of insurance and that for one car. Britain still has one of the finest public transport systems in Europe and I should know, where we used to live in Germany all the weekend there would be maybe 10 buses running, with the last one spot on 7pm. Some incentive to leave the car at home when going out for a drink. The more people switch, the better trafic congestion gets and running times of buses will improve. It is not public transport that is making our already congested roads spill over and have people stuck in trafic for ages. But as long as the attitude is like that of one of our neighbours, he recently told us full of pride that in all his motoring life he had not walked the 50 yards to the corner shop at the top of our road I guess improvements are somewhat unlikely and one has to hope for some sense being instilled by ever increasing fuel prices. UK Fan
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Sat 2 Jun 12

Truth Will Prevail says...

Nice idea UK Fan but doubt it will happen. When has traffic ever reduced? Traffic levels might fluctuate in the short term but even the DoT predict private transport is going to keep increasing. And fuel prices aren't going to affaect much in the long term either because people will either get more fuel efficient cars or we'll move to cheaper alternative fuels such as elctric cars for around town. I agree with you that if public transport improved more people would use it but theres not much chance of that and I don't believe it would actually make that much difference. Btw our public transport used to be much better, loads more buses at night and on low use routes but that was when it was highly subsidised. The bottom line is that you can't beat the convenience of a car and that won't change.
.
The other critical factor is that Hadleigh is a bottleneck that has to take all the extra traffic joining the A13 from Benfleet, Canvey and Rayleigh to the west and Leigh to the east, and funnelling all that into single lanes is not going to make the jams any better is it? I would happily bet everything I have that if they do reduce the A13 to single lanes they'll have to reinstate the dualling in a few years time because the jams will be so bad. That would truly be a waste.
Nice idea UK Fan but doubt it will happen. When has traffic ever reduced? Traffic levels might fluctuate in the short term but even the DoT predict private transport is going to keep increasing. And fuel prices aren't going to affaect much in the long term either because people will either get more fuel efficient cars or we'll move to cheaper alternative fuels such as elctric cars for around town. I agree with you that if public transport improved more people would use it but theres not much chance of that and I don't believe it would actually make that much difference. Btw our public transport used to be much better, loads more buses at night and on low use routes but that was when it was highly subsidised. The bottom line is that you can't beat the convenience of a car and that won't change. . The other critical factor is that Hadleigh is a bottleneck that has to take all the extra traffic joining the A13 from Benfleet, Canvey and Rayleigh to the west and Leigh to the east, and funnelling all that into single lanes is not going to make the jams any better is it? I would happily bet everything I have that if they do reduce the A13 to single lanes they'll have to reinstate the dualling in a few years time because the jams will be so bad. That would truly be a waste. Truth Will Prevail
  • Score: 0

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