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29th Jun, 2022

Mixed response to future travel plans

A STRATEGY shaping the future of travel across Stratford has received mixed reactions.

Stratford District Council’s Transport Strategy sets out a plan to develop the area’s infrastructure over the next 20 years.

It has been developed in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council and includes plans to build two relief roads, reduce traffic in the town centre, and reinstate a train line from Stratford to Honeybourne.

A consultation saw more than 900 residents and businesses voice their opinions on the proposals – which Stratford District Council’s cabinet is expected to give the green light to at a meeting on Monday (March 12).

Overall 55 per cent of those who responded supported the plans, with many agreeing with proposals to encourage walking and cycling, reduce queuing at J14 of the M40 – the Gaydon turn off – and improve public transport.

But nearly all who responded objected to how the council planned to manage traffic in and around Stratford. This includes the South Western Relief Road (SWRR), which will provide a new route between Shipston Road and Evesham Road.

Plans for the Eastern Relief Road (ERR) were also unpopular with many objectors saying it is not needed and the impact of building the road would be too great. The proposed road could run from Baraset Barn on Tiddington Road over the river in a bid to to discourage HGVs from traveling over the Clopton Bridge.

Members of Stratford Town Transport Group were among those to voice their concern, but say much of the proposals were not new and are already laid out in other documents including the district’s core strategy.

Transport group spokeswoman Elizabeth Dixon said: “The description as a strategy oversells the content. In some parts it is very general and doesn’t add to what has already been set out elsewhere.

“We are broadly supportive of many elements but have a major difficulty with the proposed relief roads.

“In the case of the SWRR, Warwickshire County Council has a duty to consider the costs and benefits of alternatives before the proposal is taken forward.

“In the case of a possible ERR we are very concerned that no information is provided on where it will go, what outcomes it will deliver or what impacts it will have.”

But the district council’s cabinet is expected to give the strategy the green light at its upcoming meeting.

The report says: “There is a high degree of agreement on what the key issues are regarding transport in the Stratford area.

“A primary concern is the increasing levels of traffic congestion and the impact future housing and employment growth will have on the character of the town and transport infrastructure already operating under considerable strain.

“The strategy includes measures designed to tackle congestion and improve the transport system and town environment to meet the development needs and benefit residents, businesses and visitors.”

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