It is no exaggeration to say that the beautiful and historic town of Stratford upon Avon is in great danger; with its precious heritage near to being irreparably obliterated….
The local Council are proposing to build a 2 mile-long concrete fly-over reaching 11 metres high over one of the most sensitive and beautiful parts of Stratford upon Avon. The fly-over will be just down the river from the RSC theatre and Holy Trinity Church, the final resting place of William Shakespeare. The fly-over will bisect the River Avon, River Stour, The Greenway horse-riding and walking track, Stratford’s water meadows and flood plain. It will pass within metres of a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Stratford Racecourse.
There is little dispute that this is going to be a hugely harmful and damaging piece of infrastructure.
There is also little dispute that road infrastructure is needed to manage traffic in light of all the new buildings proposed in Stratford and given the current traffic problems.
Given that it is hard to imagine a more sensitive spot for the siting of this road, one would expect that the Council had examined all the options to ensure that there was no other reasonable, less harmful alternative? Amazingly, this has not happened. This proposal was put forward by a developer based on the land they had managed to acquire in order to allow them to build 3,500 homes outside Stratford.
The Council have adopted the course of least resistance and accepted this road without conducting any independent examination as to whether a less harmful alternative exists.
Apart from the environmental harm of this road (visual, noise, air, building on flood plain), it is now clear that it will not deliver the supposed traffic benefits because it will funnel traffic from new housing to the South, right onto already congested roads in Stratford itself. There has been acknowledgement that this road may only be a ‘holding-position’ for 10-15 years when yet another large road further out will need to be considered. Because of short-term, developer-led thinking, Stratford faces the prospect of being encircled by a series of by-pass type roads all within a short-distance of one other rather than a composite, ambitious, long-term solution being properly designed by local government.
This is a story of local government passivity at best and sheer incompetence at worst. It seems too implausible to be true, but it is.
Lack of expertise and a desire to take the course of least resistance means the town is being led sleepwalking into disaster.
The local community, largely ignored in the development of these proposals, have formed a campaign group called Stratford Residents Action Group (SRAG). SRAG are obtaining expert highways advice to look at the feasibility of alternative routes and are fundraising to build a fighting fund. In less than 2 months, SRAG have raised over £2,500 but more is needed….
To join the campaign please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to join their mailing list.
Please also consider making a donation:
Account name: Stratford Residents Action Group
Account Number: 31715668
Sort code: 30-96-26
Cheques should be made payable to: ‘Stratford Residents Action Group’ should be posted to Richard Thomas, SRAG Treasurer, 3 Stannells Close, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9SA
This website provides more information on these road proposals, explains why they are such a disaster for Stratford, and how we are being misled by both Stratford District Council and Warwickshire County Council. It contains ideas about how you can help increase the political pressure to get this road stopped.