A small village near Ely, Cambridgeshire

Traffic and Pollution

Anyone who lives in Wilburton will know that we have a traffic issue - particular in the morning and evening peak hours. During the SWCLT presentation, a Traffic Analysis slide was shown. They claimed a figure of 5,000 daily (24 hour) and 500 peak hour traffic movements in each direction along the A1123. If this is "total" movements, then it is a massive under-statement - given that the last manual traffic count (count point 27562 - for Cambridgeshire) in 2016 was 9095, and the figure presented for the Mereham inquest was 9,400 vehicles - with a morning peak between 07:00 - 08:00.

SWCLT Traffic Analysis

The traffic from the proposed development would also appear to be an underestimate. Given that the last census information for the village showed car/van ownership to be 1.78 per household, it would be reasonable to expect there to be well over 200 cars once the development is completed. Therefore suggesting that only 25% of these cars are likely to leave during peak hours is unrealistic - especially considering the high percentage of market houses likely to be out-commuters (the developer stated the village location being suitable for "minimising travel distances" with respect to Cambridge).

Likewise, the daily two-way figure of 480 for 120 houses is very low. Even using the TRICS figures for Manor Farm, Stretham (based on low car ownership developments in urban and edge of town areas - so an underestimate for rural areas), a daily total figure 705 is produced - considerably higher than that shown during the SWCLT presentation. Using the same TRICS data, morning and evening peak is around 76 and 80 - some 50% higher than stated. Using TRICS data for development in Soham (168 houses, 77% car use for trips generated), the figures are 110 for am peak, 97 for pm peak and 878 total - around twice that presented.

The figures presented appear to be considerably lower than would be expected.

SWCLT Traffic Calming

For traffic calming, we are presented with a new crossing and the possibility of moving the 30mph limit. Both of these are decided by County Highways - so cannot be guaranteed. It is also questionable whether a crossing, used by children, should count as "traffic calming"! As to the knock on effect of both traffic leaving the development and people using the crossing will have on traffic in through the village, no indication or analysis was given.

Wilburton is currently undergoing pollution monitoring by ECDC - as levels were found to be exceptionally high for a rural location. Any additional traffic will add to this - regardless of whether the traffic is "through" traffic or from the village. Studies have shown that the amount of pollution produced in the first 5 minutes is double that of a warm engine - so traffic generated by the development could count as double in terms of pollution (until everyone drives electric cars). A significant amount of work needs to be carried out in terms of traffic analysis and pollution analysis before any further discussion of a potential development is undertaken - for the health and safety of the residents of Wilburton.

Next - The SWCLT Leaflet