Aspley Guise: Please resolve our traffic issues?

From: John Baker, To: Steve Brewer, Paul Hammond, Cc: Jim Tombe, Ben King, John Bint, Budge Wells

Dear Mr Brewer & Mr Hammond,

CC: CBC Cllr for Aspley Guise; MKC Councillor for neighbouring MK ward (Broughton).

Mr Brewer, thank you for your response confirming the A421 duelling plans do not include any provision for an extension to the Milton Keynes H10 to form a bypass around Aspley Guise.

To put some background around my enquiry and this lengthy email, I would like to discuss the amount of MK bound traffic from M1 junction 13 to MK (ie through Husborne Crawley, Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands), which adversely affects the lives of Aspley Guise residents.

The traffic passes along Bedford Road, West Hill, into Woburn Sands and dissipates into MK south (ie Bletchley & Caldecotte). Bedford Road, at the centre of Aspley Guise, is barely two lanes and in recent years, an HGV managed to reverse into, and demolish part of, a building!

Our lower school & pre-school sits south of Bedford Road, and many residents (& children) live north of Bedford Road, hence I can’t ever imagine a time where my son could walk to school because of the amount of MK bound traffic.

Multiple groups of residents have counted between 600 – 1000 cars passing through the village in a typical week day morning. And the traffic often takes ‘short cuts’ around tiny lanes in Aspley Guise south, irritating residents and putting parents & children at risk as they walk up Mount Pleasant to school.

There is a proposal – which has been ongoing for years, that Cllr Budge Wells is currently pursuing – to persuade MKC that some of their money should be spent on traffic calming for Aspley Guise. If MK taxpayers generously fund traffic calming, the traffic speeds should be reduced but this won’t solve the underlying problem of simply too much traffic.

In the early 1970s, I’m sure the residents of Aspley Guise protested that they had no wish to join Milton Keynes. No-one could have predicted the explosive growth of MK, sucking in employment from far away places, offering employment opportunities to the residents of (now) CBC. Commuter traffic means car journeys and plenty of it comes from CBC to MK south, through Aspley Guise, because it’s the quickest route from junction 13.

The A421 upgrade will bring some relief, but it is not a silver bullet. If traffic wants to move from junction 13 to MK south, the quickest and shortest route will continue to be through Aspley Guise.

If Aspley Guise were part of MKC, it would have almost certainly been protected from growth by a grid road – the H10, being the obvious choice. But with the lack of a grid road, the current route has become a grid road.

So this brings me to my enquiry regarding a bypass for Aspley Guise. I believe MKC wish to extend the H10 to Fen Street roundabout, which could be a decade or more away. This is great news for the residents of MK, but it doesn’t solve the Aspley Guise traffic problem.

Therefore, could you please engage with your fellow Officers at MKC to look at a long term strategic solution for the beleaguered residents of Aspley Guise? There are many potential options:

  • Extending the H10 to junction 13.
  • Improved signage for MK south at junction 13.
  • An anti-rush hour one way system from Woburn Sands to Husborne Crawley, stopping the inbound flow in the morning and outbound in the evening.
  • Traffic lights located at junction 13 to hold back traffic in rush hour, limiting flow and encouraging traffic to use the A421.
  • Unequivocal enforcement of the 7.5tonne HGV restriction, because it’s currently not enforced or remotely observed.
  • Extend the desired traffic calming scheme to Aspley Hill, within MK’s authority.
  • Average speed cameras (one located in each authority) to enforce a 20mph limit.

It may help if the MK Officers, or an MK Cllr, invited their CBC counterparts to Woolstones, Woughton On The Green or Great Linford – each of which had a through road similar to the one found in Aspley Guise – to see how the MK grid road model has left these communities in peace & quiet, free from the problems inflicted upon Aspley Guise by a lack of long term strategic planning.

Thank you for your time in considering this email.

John Baker
The Manor, Salford Road, Aspley Guise.