Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Investing in roads in East Devon: who pays ........................... and who benefits?

As seen earlier on this blog, the network of twentieth-century roads was not 'built for cars':

Meanwhile, local councils are struggling to keep this network going:

However, the government has announced 'extra' finance for local roads:

Looking at the road system in East Devon, we should ask:

Who are the roads built for - and who are they built by?

Should we the taxpayer be spending millions on super-highways - or on local roads?


Here's a piece from the EDA blog a couple of months ago, which asked where the cash will come from for the local network of roads - and who is most likely to be (in-)convenienced by this:


October 23, 2014

Currently only highly localised infrastructure can be constructed when developments take place – they must be tightly linked to that development, though in some cases even that is not completed: developers strike down all affordable housing and don’t put in attenuation tanks unless threatened.

We have no local plan so we cannot charge developers “Community Infrastrructure Levy” – an extra charge based on the site and size of the development that, if in place, they could not avoid.

As a result, for example, East Devon has woeful public transport. This has bedn highlighted by the planned community hospital closures. How do you get from Ottery to Seaton or from Axminster to Budleigh Salterton without a car – if you do not qualify for ambulances? The answer is: you get a taxi there and back. Let’s say a very conservative £20 -£30 per round trip.

Most people as inpatients or visitors to our community hospitals are elderly. Many, if they can drive, cannot drive at night. What do they do if they cannot afford the luxury of taxis to visit relatives?

And let’s not get started about how we all get to Skypark!

Blame? Buck stopping? Our district council. More interested in helping developers to build more houses for more people needing more services, no interest at all in dealing with the fallout.

Our only remedy? The ballot box in May 2015.

Infrastructure: the elephant on the highways of East Devon | East Devon Alliance


On the other hand, the local MP recently declared that central government money spent on the largest through-road will help "businesses to create more jobs and make life easier for the hardworking taxpayers in East Devon who rely on them to get around":

Hugo Swire: New infrastructure investment will mean more jobs and growth in East Devon

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: December 02, 2014

East Devon MP Hugo Swire has welcomed the announcement of £2 billion of new investment in South West infrastructure, saying the move will deal with problems on the roads and support jobs and growth to the region.

The Government yesterday announced details of a £2 billion investment to transform the notorious A303 road between London and the South West into a “super highway”.

It also confirmed that the A30 between Chiverton to Carland Cross in Cornwall is to be upgraded. This is in addition to upgrading of the A30 from Temple to High Carblake, resulting in an expressway standard between Camborne and the M5 at Exeter.

In a sign decades of road misery should be drawing to an end, ministers are to sanction seven schemes to dual the stop-start single carriageways from the M3 at Basingstoke to the M5 at Taunton,

The plan involves digging a tunnel of at least 1.8 miles long under Stonehenge.

This is part of a £15.2 billion Roads Investment Strategy setting out how the government will invest in the roads network in England between 2015/16 and 2020/21 – with over 100 major schemes planned in total.

Mr Swire said:

“I attended a meeting at Number 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister a couple of weeks ago to discuss the duelling of the A303. We all agreed that this is vital to the economic success of the South West. This is great news for motorists and businesses in East Devon who have had to deal with the consequences of underinvestment in roads in the South West.

“The seven new schemes announced across the South West will go a long way to dealing with these problems. Locally, we’ll particularly benefit from the duelling of the A303 along with the planned changes to the A303/A30 between Southfields and Honiton to improve safety and journey times.

“By fixing Britain’s roads Conservatives are supporting local businesses, helping businesses to create more jobs and making life easier for the hardworking taxpayers in East Devon who rely on them to get around”.


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