[Friends of the Earth]


Newbury alternatives report


20 Sep 1995

Press Release Archive

A study released today by Friends of the Earth and local groups in Newbury shows how a package of alternative demand management' policies could be far more effective in solving the town's traffic problems than the proposed Bypass [1].

The report, researched by the Metropolitan Transport Research Unit and supported by WWF UK, includes the first full analysis of the traffic numbers and flows in the Newbury area, based on data supplied by the Highways Agency [2]. The study concludes that the benefits' of the Newbury Bypass will be wiped out much quicker than admitted by the Highways Agency because of traffic growth generated by the new road. In many parts of Newbury, traffic would be back to current levels in five to ten years, and in some places, the bypass could make congestion worse [3]. Newbury's roads would ultimately see a massive increase in overall traffic levels with the bypass.

By contrast, a suite of demand management' measures would reduce traffic levels in the town far more effectively and at lower cost. These should include, for example:

sophisticated computerised junction management schemes; pedestrian, cycle, high occupancy vehicle and bus priority schemes; speed limits, traffic calming and parking restrictions; park and ride schemes; special rail services for North-South long-distance freight; car-share schemes, telecommuting and flexible working arrangements; school buses and safe routes' for cycling and walking to school;

Tony Juniper, Deputy Campaigns Director at Friends of the Earth, said:

"This study demonstrates conclusively that the Newbury Bypass is not the answer to the town's traffic problems. Most of the traffic is local, and will not be reduced by a strategic route. Only local solutions can solve these essentially local problems."

Jill Eisele of the Third Battle of Newbury said:

"This report finally buries the myth that the bypass was designed to help Newbury. Nationally the tide has turned against road-building, and we are confident that a package of traffic management measures would be the best solution for Newbury."



[1] The report will be launched at a press conference on Wednesday 20th September 1995, at 11.00 am, First Floor, The Old Town Hall, Market Place, Newbury, Berkshire.

[2] The study, called Managing Newbury's Traffic' was commissioned by Friends of the Earth and the Third Battle of Newbury local group, and supported by WWF UK. It includes:

A full analysis of the traffic situation in Newbury according to the origins and destinations' data provided by the Highways Agency. This shows that 80% of the traffic in Newbury is from the local or the nearby area according to their own definitions, and just 5% is long-distance through traffic from the North to the South of England.

An examination of the effect of the bypass on traffic in Newbury.

A suite of alternative' demand management measures which would more effectively solve the local traffic problems, and avoid the need for the bypass.

[3] In places like Speen (a district of Newbury), for example, traffic is predicted to increase by at least 60 per cent on the A4 and over 100 per cent on the B4000 by 2010, just 12 years after the bypass opens. This does not take into account induced traffic, so is likely to be an underestimate.

The Newbury Bypass would be one of the most environmentally damaging roads in the country. Described by the Government's Landscape Advisory Committee as "quite unacceptable", it would plough through spectacular English countryside, damaging five nationally designated wildlife, landscape and historic sites on its way.

Contact details:

Friends of the Earth
26-28 Underwood St.
N1  7JQ.

Tel: 020 7490 1555
Fax: 020 7490 0881
E-mail: info@foe.co.uk
Website: www.foe.co.uk

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