Saffron Walden is gridlocked - with or without Sainsbury’s plans for expansion

IN response to the letter submitted by D Renton (Nov 11) referring to gridlock in Saffron Walden, I think it important to point out the following.

There is, and has been, gridlock in certain places and at certain times in Walden for a very long time. Most of this is generated by a combination of inadequate infrastructure, the endless granting of permission by the local authority for the ‘shoehorning-in’ of more and more housing and the associated traffic it generates, notwithstanding the additional pressures of these developments on the facilities in the town.

A certain percentage of this gridlock is also due to other factors such as the infamous ‘school run’, the parking of delivery vehicles in the roads, not to mention the periodic erection of scaffolding and other short term obstructions in our streets.

Surely with all the talk of gridlock in the town, the advantage of a supermarket development on the fringe of the town rather than within the centre are blindingly obvious.

How on earth anyone could consider the expansion of a town centre supermarket with its associated increase in lorry traffic to support its ‘improved and expanded facilities’ and the subsequent increase in its customer’s vehicles is quite beyond me.

The road improvements as specified in the plans submitted by two of the three applicants in this matter will not be enough on their own, they will have to be part of an organised and coherent strategy for the future of Saffron Walden and its infrastructure.

Don’t blame the supermarkets for gridlock because, despite all the scaremongering, the responsibility for it lies much closer to home.

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Neil Newman

Saffron Walden