Creating car dependent lifestyles
Local roads are generally promoted by local councils, either as local bypasses or to increase capacity. Nowadays these are increasingly linked to new development as councils realise they have a better chance of getting their pet road scheme this way. These roads can also be promoted by Local Enterprise Partnerships and receive funding from Homes England from its Housing Infrastructure Fund.
The problem with this approach is that new roads hoover up much of the available developer funding, leaving little over for community facilities, trees, pavements and other local amenities. It has led to a raft of new car based housing developments across the country where people have little choice but to drive, adding more pollution and congestion to our roads. That's why we are working with Transport for New Homes to support local communities faced with large new car based housing developments. We are also working with a new network of local groups worried about damaging new developments (mostly housing) called Community Planning Alliance.
Despite what can seem like an uphill struggle at times, stopping these roads is possible. In the last few years local people have seen off new roads in Suffolk and Herefordshire and in the 2021 local elections the leader of Shropshire Council lost his seat because of his support for the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road. All this goes to prove that local politics can change things for the better, even if it is hard work!
Please get in touch if you need help or advice on how to tackle a damaging new road in your area. Also, take a look at Campaign for Better Transport's Roads Campaigner Guide which contains a lot of useful tips and information.