ANGER over a proposed new motorway junction in a small Bucks village grew this week, as hundreds of residents grilled councillors and planning officers about plans which they fear could create more ‘bedlam’ on the roads.
Villagers and club members had their say on the controversial proposal which could see a M40 junction 3a built in Flackwell Heath.
The idea was originally put forward to residents as part of Wycombe District Council’s Local Plan for potential developments over the next 17 years, and new figures suggest it could cost between £15 million and £30 million.
However, with three proposals all having a major affect on housing and social groups around Flackwell Heath, Loudwater and High Wycombe, residents were given a chance to voice their dismay during the public meeting on Wednesday, August 20.
Amongst the residents who questioned the plans was Chris Oxley from Loudwater.
He said: “If this is mostly to help introduce new business areas for companies, how can we ensure businesses actually want to come to Wycombe.
“My main concern is traffic, what is actually being done about the A40? At 5pm the London Road is a nightmare, it can take absolutely ages to get from A to B. It is just bedlam.
“The way I see it, this motorway is like a tap for Wycombe, at junction 3, motorists just pour on and the same at junction 4, and how do we know junction 3a won’t be exactly the same.”
Representatives of campaign groups No Way Junction 3a and Save Cobbles Farm (based on Spring Lane where two plans suggest the slip road could go) attended the evening and asked questions.
One of the controversial plans would see the new junction link up to the Gomm Valley via Spring Lane.
This proposal has massively concerned Kingsmead Road residents with a member of the Kingsmead Netball Centre saying she has grave concerns.
Caroline Davis said: “If this plan was chosen, what would happen to the netball courts and all the other houses and recreation areas which have been built up over so many years.
“We have a lot of members at the netball club and they are all very concerned about what will happen if this junction is built.” The chairman of the Flackwell Heath Residents Association Planning and Environment, Carolyn Leonard, also questioned the Wycombe District Council and Bucks County Council planning members.
She said have you taken into consideration the views of residents, as these plans would totally destroy the whole area.
Despite a huge amount of concern conveyed on the night, councillors were quick to allay fears of the 220 people who registered to attend the meeting, with BCC Senior Manager for Place, Stephen Walford, saying there are still many hurdles to go through.
He said: “At the moment traffic is a problem and we are looking at every option available to see what we can do so new business areas are introduced and infrastructure is sustainable.
“As has been said, this is very much just a proposal and we are welcoming feedback because we need to look at our options.
“What I can say is a new junction 3a is still very far off from actually happening, there are still many hurdles we need to go over before we can consider doing this.
“The Highways Agency will be the ones to have the final say, they are the final arbiter and by their opinion we would be likely to need to prove that this is the only option we have.”
Flackwell Heath and WDC Cllr David Johncock chaired the meeting and afterwards he said: “I think the meeting went well it was a good opportunity to explain to people who maybe didn’t know exactly what the situation was and the truth is, as we keep saying, we are at a very early stage.
“Obviously there are some people with concerns and we have hopefully eased some of those. “The problem we have is we have to do the right thing for the whole district which is not always easy.”