‘Improve that junction now’

Network Rail's new national centre is taking shape near the railway station in central Milton Keynes
Network Rail's new national centre is taking shape near the railway station in central Milton Keynes

AN IMPASSIONED plea to put a roundabout back in Silbury Boulevard before thousands of Network Rail staff arrive in Milton Keynes next summer was made at a business club yesterday

The City Breakfast Club, sponsored by the Citizen, was told by Network Rail development manager Howard Penstone that the £110 million development is on track to bring 3,000 staff to the city starting next summer.

But Mark Orr, managing director of Printing and Mailing in Copperhouse Court, Caldecotte, forecast traffic snarl ups at the Silbury Boulevard traffic light-controlled junction.

Mr Orr warned there could be long tailbacks if the traffic lights are not replaced with a roundabout. The junction had previously been a roundabout.

Mr Orr asked Mr Penstone: “Could you lobby to get the roundabout back?”

Mr Penstone however was non-committal on the issue, saying Milton Keynes Council and the transport authorities have money from the planning process to implement traffic improvements.

He said: “We’ve spent an awful lot of time on this, with extensive traffic modelling.”

But Mr Orr added he was not confident. “They are the same plonkers who took the roundabout away in the first place.”

All in all however, the feeling of around 100 attendees was to extend Mr Penstone a hearty welcome to Milton Keynes.

Keens Shay Keens’ senior partner Paul Davis, who chairs City Breakfast Club sponsors, said: “All in all it’s going to be fantastic for Milton Keynes.” He added the state-of-the-art new office building now taking shape would ‘maybe’ become an icon of the new city.

A council spokesman said: “Funding has been provided by Network Rail to MKC to address any transport issues which arise at the Silbury / Grafton Gate junction as a result of the development.

“The junction currently has traffic lights and the works are likely to involve signal timing changes and lane markings to address future traffic flows and demands.

“We will continue to review traffic management in this area when the building is occupied and take appropriate remedial action if necessary.