There is currently increasing pressure on the Chilterns landscape and wildlife as a result of proposed new transport infrastructure. As well as the HS2 rail line, there are proposed expansions to Heathrow and Luton Airports, and a new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway. Whilst some of these developments would be outside the Chilterns, they have the potential to increase noise and traffic across the Chilterns.
In response to these threats, the Society’s Planning Group has established a Transport Sub-Group, which is working closely with the Chilterns Conservation Board. The two organisations have prepared a document ‘Chiltern Transport Planning: Towards a Common Approach’ to identify the key transport issues likely to affect the Chilterns and proposals as to how impacts could be reduced or managed.
The plan has 3 main objectives –
- Reduce the impact of traffic and the need to travel
- Increase travel by sustainable modes
- Enhance and protect the Chilterns environment and air quality
The document has been sent to all the County Highways Authorities for their comments and to seek their support, and you can read it here.
The Planning Group is also increasing its engagement with other organisations and initiatives in the transport sector. This has included the following –
- Submitting comments on the development of a third runway at Heathrow, particularly in relation to increased flights over the Chilterns and increased road traffic. Further details here.
- Objecting to the proposed development of a second terminal at Luton Airport and increased flights over the Chilterns. See link to a copy of our full response.
- Providing comments on the development of a regional transport strategy by England’s Economic Heartland. See link to our recent news item.
- Commenting on Local Transport Plans as they are published by local authorities. There are current consultations in relation to Reading and Oxfordshire.
The Society is keen to develop its expertise in this area, so the Planning Group would like to hear from any volunteers who may have knowledge and experience of transport issues.