Bexley by-pass? London conference on fighting road-building.

Roads to Nowhere campaigner conference – October 18th 2014

A new wave of Government ‘infrastructure’ funding, designed to drive more mindless and environmentally destructive ‘growth’, is likely to raise various mothballed road-building schemes from the dead. One such could be the proposed Bexley by-pass, which would be bulldozed past St. Mary’s Church in Bexley Village, across Green Belt land that is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and would destroy the tranquility of Churchfield Wood. It is well known that more roads = more traffic, with all the negative consequences that brings. It’s time Bexley Council ditched the 20th century greenwash, and got with a credible programme for real sustainability fit for the huge challenges we’ve created for ourselves here in the third millenium.

The route of the proposed Bexley by-pass, looking from the A2 towards Bexley village. Churchfield Wood, on the left,  runs up the south slope of the Cray valley.

The route of the proposed Bexley by-pass, looking from the A2 towards Bexley village. Churchfield Wood, on the left, runs up the south slope of the Cray valley. (Photo: Chris Rose)

In order to prepare ourselves for any future fight over this scheme, local wildlife campaigners may wish to attend the Campaign for Better Transport’s free training conference for anyone who wants to stop a new wave of road building covering the country with tarmac.

To book, and ffi, see:

http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/roads-nowhere/conference-2014

The conference, in central London, will give you information and intelligence on what’s being proposed, together with training and advice on how to get a campaign off the ground.

The information would also be useful for confronting various Thames crossing schemes. These would pour more traffic into Bexley, and pose a threat to Lesnes Abbey Woods as this would increase the demands for widening of the roads up through the woods towards the south of the Borough.

The CfBT’s website carries the following assessment of the Bexley by-pass. Bexley Natural Environment Forum and others have proposed that this road be removed from the Council’s future plans, as part of its strategic development consultations, but we still await the outcome.

A223 Bexley Bypass

This proposal has been discussed since at least the 1970s. This extract from the 1986 Domesday project shows a school pupil’s survey of local residents about the shelved plans, finding they were against it: BBC Domesday website.

It has never attracted funding, but is a ‘desirable’ infrastructure policy named in the 2012 Core Strategy for the Borough, which includes plans for a feasibility study to look at the proposals. The bypass also appears in the first Local Implementation Plan for LTP2, which runs up to 2013 and says about the route: “The Bexley Bypass would be a 1.6 km dual two-lane all purpose carriageway linking the A223 North Cray Road (now a part of the Strategic Road Network) to the Black Prince roundabout just to the south of the A2.” The road does not appear in TfL’s sub-regional plans for the area or in the latest Local Implementation Plan for Bexley, but its presence in the local development framework means there is a high risk the bypass will be brought forward if any funding is found.

The route runs through green belt land and would damage a rich ecosystem of ancient woodland. North Cray Village Conservation Area also affected.

Churchfield Wood in spring is full of native Bluebells, Wood Anemone and Greater Stitchwort. Traffic thundering past on yet another major road would destroy the tranquility of the wood.

Churchfield Wood in spring is full of native Bluebells, Wood Anemone and Greater Stitchwort. Traffic thundering past on yet another major road would destroy the tranquility of the whole wood. (Photo: Chris Rose)

This entry was posted in BNEF, Churchfield Wood, Environment, Planning. Bookmark the permalink.