HAVE "NEWT PLANNERS BU1\ ROAD TRANS'
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THE increasing size of London has agitated statesmen since the days of Queen Elizabeth, but it has been left to the present century to devise a practical method of dealing with the problem. The creation of a Green Belt was a positive step in the prevention of further spreading; the next step had to be to decrease the density of population inside the Belt.
This is to be done by the creation of new towns which shall not be merely dormitories, but shall have within their borders sufficient industry to employ the bulk of the local population without the necessity of a long daily trek to and from London. The main aim in planning the foul new towns of Stevenage, Harlow, Crawley and Hemel Hempstead (which will each eventually house about 60,000 people) is, therefore, the same. Obviously, however, there must be considerable differences of detail in the working-out of the plan.
Stevenage Has a By-pass Problem THE old market town of Stevenage is situated on the
Great North Road (Ali, approximately 31 miles north of London and on the main east-coast railway to Scotland. The new town in which it will be incorporated will be built mainly to the east and south of it, with Stevenage-Hertford railway as the southern boundary.
The new Stevenage will considerably exceed in population the nearby towns of Hitchin (20,000), Letchworth (20,000) and Hertford (14,000). The Great North Road will be diverted to the west of its existing route and will be connected with the new town at two points only. About a mile to the north, the new and the old Al will meet at a junction with the proposed BirminghamColchester road. The other connection to the new road will be by a cross-road in the south-west corner.
The town will be divided into six neighbourhood.ianits (of which old Stevenage will be one), and these will all be to the east of the railway, whilst the industrial areas will be to the west of it, that is, between the railway and the new Al. The railway station will be moved approximately one mile to the south, which is as far as it can be moved without interfering with the existing water-troughs, which would be difficult to re-site.
A bus station will be built adjacent to the new railway station, and to the '..otith of the bus station will be a large area available for warehousing. This will immediately face the new town centre, which will be on the east side of the main internal road (the present Al). South of the warehousing zone will be the goods sidings. As the accompanying plan shows, 'there will be a main north-to-south road through the industrial belt, intersected by three roads which will give connections to all parts of the town.
In planning the road layout it was necessary to try to estimate the possible traffic at the workers' peak periods. In the morning people will mostly move into the industrial area earlier than those going to the business and shopping centre, but at night the outward movement from both places will be at much the same time. Taking.
the industrial zone as being divided into four by the three main cross-roads,.-53,5 per cent of the factories will be located in the northernmost section, then, working south, 22.3 per cent, in the next, 16 per cent. in the next, and 6.2 per cent. in the southernmost.
It has been assumed that people going to work in the industrial zone will be divided as follows:— Taking the working population as 12,000, and working out the likely numbers in the various sections of the industrial zone and the business centre, it has been possible to estimate peak movement at principal intersections. At all intersections, roundabouts will be built: Contours present a difficulty at the intersection at Six Hills of the old Al with the new cross-town road immediately south of the 'new centre. To obviate the east-west road having to drop and rise again sharply, the old Al will be raised about 19 ft. by a ramp beginning about 500 ft. from each side of the intersection.. The new general-traffic routes will have a ruling gradient of 1 in 30, a minimum visibility of 500 ft. and will be 250 ft. between the building lines. Theywill have dual carriageways and the cycle and pedestrian paths will be laid out so as to avoid the roundabouts by tunnelling under the carriageway where necessary.
. Preliminary discussions have been held with the London Transport Executive and no difficulty is anticipated in organizing internal town :services to cater for workers and shoppers.
Green Line and other long-distance coaches will, no doubt, enter the town at the north and south end from the new Al and use the bus station., Long-distance goods traffic, it is thought, will use the Great North Road and by-pass the town. No statistics of this traffic are available later than 1938, when a check at Stevenage showed 6,500 vehicles passing in 16 hours, of which 5,220 were only going through and could, therefore, have used the by-pass had it existed. I should, however, point out that this census was taken in the daytime and, therefore, ignores the great volume of night 'traffic on Al. Most of this would no doubt use the new road, but many of the lorries will enter the town unless the drivers can find food and accommodation on the trunk route.
Harlow Routing Over-simplified
A T Harlow, the nearest existing main road, instead of 'being put right outside the new town, will be brought well inside it. The road is Al 1—the secondary route from London to Cambridge by way of Epping—which at present passes through the centre of the existing town of Harlow. It will be superseded for through traffic by a new road, which will by-pass Harlow village (and the village of Potter Street) on the west. Old All, according to the present plans, Will not connect directly with the new road at the north end of Harlow High Street, but will dive under it into the station yard.
The whole of the new town, except Terling's Park, will be south of the Stort Navigation and most of it also south of the London-Cambridge railway. Close to the northern boundary will pass the new Norwich road (to be called the Norwich radial), which will supersede the existing narrow and twisty route from Airmen to Sawbridgeworth. The North Orbital road wilt pass close to the south-west corner of the town. Burnt Mill will become the principal station for the town and the track through it will be quadruple instead of double, as at present.
At the north-eastern corner of the new town and adjoining the existing Harlow, a large site is reserved for industry. The railway will pass through the centre of it and a goods yard will be built; private sidings will be available if desired. As the industrial estate will border the Start, which is navigable at this point, the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive is looking into the possibility of constructing a wharf. Probably another industrial area will be developed in the northwestern corner of the town, but this will not be railconnected. One good feature of the road layout will be that cyclists and pedestrians will be able to reach the town centre without using the main roads.
It is proposed to put a bus station at the Civic Centre, about half a mile south of the railway station. The existing services 389 (Hertford-Sawbridgeworth) and 396 (Epping-Bishop's Stortford) will be diverted to reach this point, and it is suggested that a new service from Waltham Cross shall came up through Roydon Hamlet and reach the bus station through the south-west corner of the town. The London-Bishop's Stortford Green Line service will, presumably, use the new Ali, as it is .proposed that this service should not pass through the central bus station. It seems a most curious decision to leave a town of .60,000 people to one side in this wa: Furthermore, as it is suggested that the new All should be exclusively reserved for motor traffic, and have neither footpaths nor cycle tracks, it will not be possible to pick up or set down on it.
It seems to me, too, that the routeing problem has been over-simplified. It is proposed to restrict buses to the classified roads running through the rural belts. Moreover, they will not be allowed to enter the neighbourhood units; which seems to imply that only the radial routes already referred to are envisaged. The effect of this will be that many people will be forced to cycle or walk up to half a mile to a bus stop. The town will measure at its broadest points about 31 miles from north to south and 4i miles from east to west. .Rerneintier that the population will eventually be 60,000 (more than Gloucester) and that of these probably 12,000 will be workers. If only a third of these need bus transport at the peak hours, something better than three radial routes involving changing at the civic centre will be necessary.
My own suggestion is for five routes, as shown in the accompanying plan, viz.:— •'
A. Railway Station and Great Parndon. Sub-centre • via Civic Centre, returning via Brockles and the Western Industrial Estate, and vice versa.
B. Great Parndon Sub-centre and Old Harlow via Potter Street, • returning via Bromleys and Pastern Industrial Estate, and vice versa. (Certain buses in peak hours to be diverted via Harlow Mill and northern perimeter of Industrial Estate, and vice versa.)
C. Potter Street and Old Harlow via-Tye Green Sub-Centre and Civic Centre.
D. Roydon Hamlet and Old Harlow via Civic Centre and Railway Station, returning via Harlow Mill, and vice versa. (Certain buses to work Waltham Cross and Railway Station.) E. Hertford and Sawbridgeworth via Roydon, Parndon Hall, Civic Centre, Railway Station, Eastern Industrial Estate and Harlow High Street,
The London Transport scheme of three routes takes no notice of the suggestion in the plan that the eastern industrial estate should be manned mainly by residents c 10
in the eastern residential units, and the western estate mainly by residents in the western area. It gives direct access to either estate for only ,a,minority of workers. Most parts of the town cannot be reached from the railway station without changing, and one cannot travel across the south end of the town without going into the centre. (It is only one mile from Gt. Pamdon Subcentre to Tye Green Sub-centre, but by the proposed bus routeing a 21-mile journey with a change will be necessary.) If it be now said that the proposed routes are only basic ones on which workers' services will be superimposed, such an important point should be brought out in the Master Plan.
My scheme gives a direct service to both industrial estates from the areas that are intended to feed them. It gives a direct service to the eastern estate from the south-west, whilst the western estate can be reached from the south-east with one change; it connects both estates with the railway station and civic centre; it enables any part of the town to be reached from those focal points without change of vehicle (except in one case); it connects the southern areas direct, and it brings all residential areas within a quarter of a mile of a bus route.
• Crawley Forms • a Cul-de-Sac
'J THE principal feature of the Crawley plan is that, 'HE the present London-Brighton road must pass through the new town, all through traffic will be prevented from entering the town centre because the existing main road will become a cul-de-sac, terminating at the railway station—to which it will lead from the
London side only Through traffic, therefore, will necessarily use the by-pass until such time as the proposed motorway well to the east of the town is built Meantime, A23 and A264 will not be restricted to through traffic, but in the section common to both— 'the Crawley ring "—there will be only five junctions— all roundabouts. The present Crawley by-pass is 120 ft. wide with dual carriageways, cycle tracks and footpaths, and A264 will be similarly reconstructed as far as the junction with the proposed motorway. At the latter point there will be a fly-over junction. Entrance to the neighbourhood units will be limited to two minor roads off each main radial, so designed as to discourage through traffic. Footpaths and cycle tracks will be kept away from traffic roads wherever possible and will cross them by ramped subways.
As the plan shows, the trunk and classified roads form natural divisions, and the layout is such that operation of circular bus services will easily be possible. It is uncertain yet what services will be run, but it seems likely that the Green Line and Southdown services will enter the town centre and terminate at a bus station to be built on the north-east side of the enlarged railway station. The industrial area will be in the north-east, with any heavy industries that may settle located close to the main railway line —with private-siding connections if desired. Most residents will be within 1 miles of the industrial area. Improved rail services will be passible when the track between Three Bridges and Crawley is doubled.
Solution Easier at Hemel Hempstead
" EMEL HEMPSTEAD, like the other three towns
already described, is fo have a population ultimately of about 60,000, and it is hoped to attract people and factories chiefly from Willesden and Acton. It differs from Stevenage, Harlow and Crawley in that it already has a substantial industry—the paper mills of John Dickinson—employing not only men, but also a large number of women and girls. These are in the southeast corner of the new town and will rely for transport, as at present, on the main road which passes outside, on the railway which is just across .the road, and on the Grand Union Canal which is on the north side of the factory. Another industrial area will be developed in the north-east and will be served by the railway from St. Albans, which will be cut back at Cupid Green.
At present passengers go on to Heath End Halt, and beyond that there is a single-track continuation which crosses the main road to provide access to the gasworks. This extension is used by only two coal trains a day, but how to deal with it is providing the planning staff with a knotty problem. The railways are considering whether a temporary spur from the main line could be put in to give an approach to the gasworks from the London side until such time as the works can be moved. Until the line south of Cupid Green can be removed, it will cut right across the town centre and interfere with its proper development.
The present A41 will be substituted for through traffic by a new trunk toad to the south of the railway, and it is uncertain yet whether Green Line coaches will use this or continue to travel along the present main road. In any case, suitable accommodation will be provided near the town centre for a bus interchange point, which will also be reached from the direction of Leighton Buzzard by the existing road. This will be improved and diverted near Cotterells to reach the new Civic Centre and then pass on to Two Waters. At this point a new station will be built to supersede both the present Boxmoor and Apsley stations, and adjoining it will be a bus station. A London Transport garage is already on the spot. Beyond the northern limits of the town, at Piccott's End, will pass the motorway from the Midlands to the Docks. This will be the route by which most of the road traffic to the north-eastern industrial estate will be handled.
A perimeter road passing all round the town near its circumference will be built, and by means of this: plus the roads already mentioned, it will be easy to reach any of the neighbourhood units. There will be six of these at Adeyfield, Apsley, Counter's End, Highfield, Leverstock Green and Poucher's End.
No decision has yet been reached about the routeing of bus services to and inside the town, but, in addition to the Green Line services, the following routes at present cover the ground: 301, Watford Junction— Aylesbury via Two Waters; 301C, Hemel Hempstead (Parade)—Dudswell via Two Waters; 302, Hemel Hempstead (Parade)—Watford Heath via Two Waters; 307, Boxmoor Station—Harpenden via Adeyfield and Cupid Green; 314, Hemel Hempstead (Parade)—St. Albans via Moor End and Leverstock Green; 316, Hemel Hempstead (Parade)--Chesham via Two Waters (joint.with Rover Services); 317, Watford—Berkharnsted via Chipperfield, Hemel Hempstead and Great Gaddesden; 3I8A, Watford—Two Waters via King's Langley; 319, Hemel Hempstead (Parade)—Little Gaddesden via Piceott's End; 320, Watford—Boxmoor via Leverstock Green and Adeyfield; 322, Watford• Junction—Hernel Hempstead via King's Langley Station; 337, Watford—Dunstable via Chipperfield and Hemel Hempstead.
It will be seen from this table that the site is extremely well served already and the passenger problem in Hemet Hempstead should be easier of solution than in any other of the new towns.
Next week I will deal with Peterlee and Aycliffe, in County Durham, and sum up the transport questions affecting all the new towns.