Parish council concerns over West Essex local transport plan

COUNCILS in Essex have voiced concern over the amended Local Transport Plan (LTP) claiming it is “geared towards Harlow.”

Dunmow Town Council as well as Takeley Parish Council both voiced the same concerns at the LTP which looks at how to improve links as well as save money throughout West Essex.

The current plans were drawn up in 2009 but due to cuts in government funding it is being reviewed. The new transport plan will be reviewed every three years but will be in place until 2021.

Dunmow Mayor Wendy Baron feared the town would be “sidelined” if they did not get their views across to the county council and were included in the LTP.

“We need to get our voice heard, she said. “Dunmow is getting sidelined and not just in the transport plan but others things as well so we, as the Town Council, need to stand up and be heard.”

Dunmow town councillor Carol James said: “The plan is all about Harlow, there is nothing mentioned about improving Dunmow. At the moment we can’t do anything in Chelmsford after seven o’clock because the bus links are terrible.”

Cllr Milan Milovanovic said: “In Dunmow we are closer to Chelmsford than we are Harlow so most of the question that will arise about the document will be irrelevant because we are more concerned about Chelmsford but it is Harlow that gets the majority of the attention.”

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The comments from Dunmow Town Council councillors were supported by Takeley Parish Council’s clerk Jane Heskey who said that the majority of the plan and money involved would “be spent in Harlow, not more rural areas.”

Essex County Council ended their consultation period on February 11 and will publish their findings in April.

An ECC spokesperson said: “We are currently analysing responses to the Local Transport Plan consultation, the findings from which will be incorporated into the new Essex Transport Strategy. This document will be published in April, and will set out the County Council’s spending priorities in Highways & Transportation for the next three years.”