Pennbury “Eco” Town and more transport issues

The Co-operative Estates have managed to draw up some transport plans that aren’t just “we’ll encourage people not to use the car” aspirational white-wash, or are they?

Rail

A station at Great Glen is mentioned again, but there doesn’t appear to be an agreement with Network Rail or any actual detail. Great Glen isn’t geared up to sending trains to Leicester, so trains from this station will only go south (ie away from Leicester).

Bus/Tram

The Co-operative Group have made much of their proposed tram, which has a proposed route to Oadby Racecourse and then along London Road (A6). The transport plan also makes much of a rapid transport system (buses) that would follow the tram route. But there’s no detail as to how this is going to happen. There’s no space on the Gartree Road to create priority bus lanes without extending the width of the road. So how will they be created? Will this mean the destruction of frontages of properties along the route? And how will tram lines be laid on London Road?

Road

On the Co-operative Group’s plan, Mere Land from Great Stretton to Houghton on the Hill has disappeared. Gartree Road will be closed as a through route so it can become a green lane for walkers or those brave enough to compete with the rapid bus services and/or tram. But Gartree Road isn’t for the exclusive use of Pennbury residents, so where does existing traffic go? And how do service vehicles get to Pennbury anyway?

Apparently the loss of Gartree Road will be “balanced” by the gain of a link road from the Shady Lane/Gartree Road junction to Spencefield Lane in Evington. Gridlock. Especially at school run time. Or is this a sneaky plan to ensure that Leicester children will use Pennbury Schools because no one can get to Judgemeadow, City of Leicester, St Pauls or Oakfields Schools? As Judgemeadow and City of Leicester are frequently over-subscribed, that might just take the pressure off. But the Co-operative Estate’s haven’t shown that much forethought in their planning so far, so this is just a scheme to dump their traffic problems on Leicester city.

Considering as much detail as the Co-operative Estates can be bothered to give, this is just more aspirational white-wash. I’d say green-wash but the area used for roads has increased by 23% and the choice of the “compact town” design uses 40% more greenfield space so that there can be a lower housing density. So much for it being an “eco” town.

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