TRAFFIC flow proposals for the Eastern Gateway development will see juggernauts using the Redditch road system – including the Oakenshaw and Crabbs Cross islands – before joining the A435 at the Spernall Ash junction in Studley.
The proposals were discussed at the inaugural meeting of the Redditch Eastern Gateway Steering Group, set up at the insistence of Stratford District Council planners concerned at the number of HGVs likely to drive through the villages of Mappleborough Green and Studley.
Councillors had also voiced concerns at the level of traffic monitoring initially proposed by developer Stoford – just once a year.
However at the meeting, held in Stratford on July 31, Stoford representatives proposed siting three number plate recognising ANPR cameras, one at the site entrance to the industrial development, another on the A4189 Henley Road, and a third on the south side of Studley, north of Spernall.
In addition a ban on using the Studley/ Mappleborough Green section of the A435 by HGVs would be part of any tenancy agreement.
This would be backed up by a £200,000 should any company break those conditions.
Juggernaut drivers would be expected to travel north to junction 3 of the M42, or use the Redditch road system, namely the Coventry Highway, Warwick Highway and Rough Hill Drive before joining the A448 and then the A435.
Studley Parish Councillor Paul Beaman, who attended the meeting, predicted this would cause traffic chaos in Redditch and questioned how enforceable Stoford’s monitoring system would be.
“If you have more HGVs than we have at the moment trying to use the island at Crabbs Cross and then trying to get out at Spernall then traffic is going to come to a full stop,” he said.
“And when you put conditions on any planning application these need to be reasonable, appropriate and enforceable.
“Stoford needs to have the resources and the will to make sure people are not breaking those regulations.”
He added that if juggernaut drivers did flout the regulations the village would be left to rely on any worsening of air quality to enforce action on traffic volumes.
However District Councillor Justin Kerridge (Con, Mappleborough Green / Studley North) described the proposed monitoring of HGVs as ‘really good’.
“At the original planning meeting the monitoring suggested was for one day, once a year while this is 24/7 monitoring and also along the Henley road, and we have the £200,000 bond to beef it up,” he said.
“The developers have not stinted in this and under the circumstances it’s the best we could have hoped for.”
He also said he thought the system was eminently enforceable.
“There is something similar to this in north Warwickshire but on a much larger scale where there is an HGV monitored and managed scheme with a bond system.
“If it works up there I see no reason why it should not work here.”