Lights are in Tories’ sights

Traffic lights could become endangered species in Milton Keynes
Traffic lights could become endangered species in Milton Keynes

MILTON Keynes’ Conservatives are taking aim at troublesome traffic lights in the new city.

The cull could begin in as little as three months, the Citizen was told yesterday.

Councillor John Bint, Milton Keynes Borough Council’s cabinet member for transport and highways, believes traffic lights are getting in the way of free movement of traffic around the city.

“We are looking at traffic light de-implementation,” Mr Bint told a meeting of the City Breakfast Club, at stadium:mk yesterday.

“We’ve got our highways department to look at bus gates and lights that hold up 1,000 cars an hour for one bus a fortnight.”

Mr Bint told the Citizen that even traffic lights in the city centre could be included in the cull. He expected progress on the issue in three months, around about Christmas time.

But he warned that the minority Conservative administration faced opposition from ‘30 out of 50’ councillors.

The councillor was taking questions at the end of a presentation to the early morning business leaders’ club.

Mark Orr, who runs Printing and Mailing in Copperhouse Court, Caldecotte, prompted the response from Mr Bint by asking: “What can the council do to stop the fascists in the Highways Agency putting in traffic lights?”

Mr Bint, along with Tory group and council leader Andrew Geary and council official Pam Gosal, the corporate head of economic development, presented the council’s plans to the breakfast networking group.

Mr Bint told councillors that connecting parts of the city by roads and broadband were key objectives. He is a supporter of the city’s grid road system.

He said plans to expand to the east of Milton Keynes would include extensions to the H3 and H2 roads and a new ‘bypass’ around the 6,500-home development.

Theo Chalmers, of city pressure group Urban Eden, said he felt encouraged during the new council’s ‘honeymoon period’. But he said he didn’t want to see ‘Hong Kong’ style development opposite Sainsbury’s in the city centre or a ‘new Hub’ at Lloyds Court.

Mr Bint said the council may be hamstrung by previous policy decisions but vowed to work to change things.