“No-one is interested in pushing through proposals which no-one wants”, says Essex County Council’s highways chief over plans for ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ in Chelmsford.
Essex County Council’s (ECC) plans to divide Old Moulsham into quarters have been branded as “unliveable” by some residents, who are calling for the local authority to “re-think” its proposals.
As part of the council’s Active Travel Fund, it has detailed proposals to create ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ – encouraging walking and cycling by preventing cars using routes as shortcuts.
Part of these plans include splitting the Moulsham area of Chelmsford into quarters which would see motorists only able to enter and exit through certain quarter gateways, aiming to stop through traffic travelling within the neighbourhood.
Pedestrians, cyclists and buses would remain able to travel between and within all of the quarters.
The Old Moulsham Against Quarters campaign group has hit out against the plans following the launch of the council’s consultation into the proposals.
The group argues the ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ plan will actually make the area “unliveable” and want the consultation to be stopped “with immediate effect”.
In correspondence to Chelmsford City councillor Marie Goldman, Councillor Lee Scott, cabinet member for highways maintenance and sustainable transport, wrote: “Thank you for taking the time to pass on your residents’ concerns.
“I am very grateful for the time that you and residents have taken to respond to our consultation.
“It was certainly not anyone’s intention to cause any distress to residents and there are certainly things with regards to our communications that I want us to reconsider going forward.
“Department for Transport has asked us to be ambitious with our proposals and officers are under considerable pressure to deliver this within a challenging timescale.
“Discussions have already begun about how to improve future consultations including how to balance our climate commitments, whilst not digitally disadvantaging anyone and how to work with steering groups to get better reach into communities.
“If you could please reassure residents that I am genuinely listening to all our feedback and want to hear everyone’s views as no-one is interested in pushing through proposals which no-one wants.”