10 July 2014
Staffordshire County Council has announced that £16.1 million of funding is to be made available for the construction of an access road in the west of Stafford.
Stafford's Green Party Borough Councillor, Tom Harris, said today that the plans were a disaster for residents who already have to suffer a traffic nightmare.
Cllr Harris was one of the co-founders of the campaign group Stop The Access Road (set up to challenge the original plans six years ago).
He said: "This is terrible news for Staffordians. The majority of traffic congestion in the town is not between the west and north - where this road will go - but between the east and south, specifically the Lichfield and Wolverhampton roads."
Cllr Harris rejected claims that the new road would be good for employment and traffic flow in the town, saying: "Stafford already suffers such bad congestion that the town's largest employer some time ago told our Member of Parliament that it will not create any new jobs here because of it."
"Adding half a mile of road in order to build 2000 houses with two cars on each driveway is not going to do anything to reduce congestion. While this money is being spent to create new problems, existing traffic black spots are being totally ignored."
"Staffordshire County Council has just made £4.5 million in cuts to services for vulnerable and elderly people. The Bedroom Tax has left some Stafford borough residents on the verge of suicide."
"So, why is the taxpayer being forced to cough up £16 million to provide access to a new development on a greenfield site that will generate at least £3-4 billion in revenue for already wealthy private companies?"
"The Green Party wants to see a real solution to our transport problems. We want to renationalise our train network and re-regulate our buses. We need massive investment in joined up transit systems to allow people to get about their daily business comfortably, affordably and sustainably."