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  • "I've said it before, and I'll say it again - a northern link road won't solve anything in the long term. All the land inside it would be built out, more traffic will build up and there'll be as bad a situation to the north as there is to the south before long. It's really short sighted and principally driven by the selfish desire to save some time, which in the long run it won't be able to do.

    Proper planning and attracting more employment is the only way to cut congestion. You don't cut traffic by building roads, it increases it. You cut traffic by removing the need to travel. Better campaigning to stop the Black country soaking up an unfair allocation of the employment land and forcing us to have an over abundance of residential development is what's needed.

    Worcester has a population of just under 100,000. Do we really have the demand for 28,000 new houses? At an average of 2.4 people per dwelling, that's an increase of 67,000 people, approximately 2/3rds of the current city size! This is all part of a plan to make us a dormer settlement for the Black Country. If that's the case then at the least the Black Country should be funding better rail links from Worcester so that all these people can get there without clogging up the roads. A train station at St John's/west of Worcester would also be required as well as the Norton Parkway.

    People need to stop being distracted by the short term self-centred views that drive the desire to have a northern link road, that are all based on the fact that it'll save them a few minutes (even if it is quite a few).

    These current planning policies are based around completely changing the character of Worcester, turning it into a dormitory, rather than a vibrant productive place to live. Whether we want this or not, if it's going to be done then the infrastructure to support it needs to be built too. Do you really think that building the northern link road would accommodate the additional travel requirements of 60,000+ additional people? If we're to be turned into a sleeper settlement, effectively a suburb to the Black Country, then we need the mass transit system to cope with it. Roads aren't going to hack it (and no, I don't live anywhere near the route the northern link would occupy).

    I want to hear from a councillor who can tell me why we need this many houses and how it benefits Worcester to be turned into a sleeper settlement for the Black Country. We need the businesses here. The investment into dualling the London rail link will help with connections to the capital and we need to capitalise on that. We're amazingly located for business in the centre of the country, and should have easy access everywhere. Why aren't we a hub for business. We've shown that companies like Bosch can make it here.. we need more of them! Give them financial incentives if needed. The employment will pay it back in spade loads.

    Worcester rolls over too easily to become just another faceless sleeper settlement. We need to get on it. Make something of the city. We've got a lot to offer. With incentives to business to come here we could have a lot more. Or we could just accept the fate decided for us from the Black Country and become a clogged up nowhere full of commuters with no attachment to this wonderful city of ours."
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Revealed: £266m transport revamp for Worcestershire

Worcester congestion: plan to tackle it

Worcester congestion: plan to tackle it

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards Exclusive by , Political Reporter

A £266 million plan to revamp roads and other forms of transport across Worcestershire can today be revealed - in a bid to finally solve the county's congestion headaches.

Business and council leaders have teamed together to draw up a blueprint of 19 major infrastructure revamps aimed for completion by 2021.

It includes bids of £173 million from central Government, and if accepted the likes of Worcestershire County Council and the Highways Agency will put the remaining £93 million into the kitty themselves.

It includes:

- £6 million towards street resurfacing in key shopping centres like Worcester, Malvern and Evesham to increase their appeal

- £17 million to finally build Worcestershire Parkway, a long-awaited railway station planned for Norton

- £56 million on reconfiguring the M5 Junction 6 to ease traffic build-up at peak times and prevent queues stretching back to the A449 in particular

- £4.8 million on building the Pershore Northern Link, including a bridge over the railway line in order to improve access between the A44 and the Keytec Business Park, and changes to Pinvin cross roads

- £11 million to widen roads and reconfigure key junctions to sites where large housing plots are expected to be built, including Newlands in Malvern, the west Worcester urban extension next to Dines Green and the Copcut in Droitwich

- £5 million to create special access to Worcester Technology Park off Junction 6 of the M5, and £1.75 million for better Malvern Hills Science Park access

- £2 million on a new pedestrian river crossing going from Worcester's Gheluvelt Park to old Kepax Country Park site behind Hallow Road, aimed at opening up more of the city to pedestrians and encouraging walking

- £10 million specifically towards road improvements around Evesham, which are expected to focus on the A46

- £5 million on flooding alleviation, which is expected to focus on New Road in Worcester and Upton-upon-Severn

Other projects include £24 million on improving the A38 in Bromsgrove, £5 million to improve Kidderminster railway station and the landscape around Comberton Hill, and £12.8 million on the Hoo Brook Link Road, also in Kidderminster.

It also includes funds towards the planned dualling of the A4440 Southern Link Road in Worcester, including £63 million on Carrington Bridge, as your Worcester News first revealed last week.

The entire package has been put together by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is competing for Government handouts worth £2 billion every year between next April and 2020.

As your Worcester News revealed last week the plan, put together with input from all Worcestershire's councils, MPs and more than 150 organisations, totals bids worth £250 million, making transport more than half the total ask.

Peter Pawsey, LEP chairman, said: "This is the first step to securing major changes for the better to Worcestershire's physical infrastructure."

Councillor Simon Geraghty, county council deputy leader, said: "These aren't minor proposals, this is a real step-change for Worcestershire's future transport needs."

A first announcement by the Government on next year's successful bidders is due in July.

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