'We're trapped on our estate with no safe way to get out on foot', say frustrated residents in Milton Keynes
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Residents on the estate of Eaton Leys complain they feel trapped due to the lack of a safe exit route for walkers.
The estate was built two years ago by Barratt Homes to the south of Bletchley and was advertised for its excellent road links to the A5 and surrounding towns.
But unless residents are travelling by car, it is almost impossible to get out, they say.
Parents trying to walk their children to school or get to the shops are faced with either walking dangerously along a busy dual carriageway leading to the Kelly’s Kitchen roundabout roundabout - or trying to battle their way across an overgrown field full of stinging nettles.
"There is still not an accessible path off the estate for anyone, said one resident.
"The field is so overgrown with nettles that children get stung walking to and from school...There is a sort of path but it’s barely wider than a bicycle tyre.”
This is dangerous for buggies and impossible or people in wheelchairs.
Another resident said: “I have a daughter who has regular hospital appointments, due to her heart condition and I cannot continuously afford taxis out of the estate. The field has become so dangerous and unsafe I have no choice but to put my daughters rain cover on for her safety, no matter the weather.
"We have approached our local council officers and the housing team for our estate but we are just hitting brick walls.
"We are all very frustrated and feel trapped in our own homes. This is not right and something has to be done.”
Eaton Leys has been used to house many families who had been in temporary housing, while other homes have been sold privately, many for more than £500,000.
The promised shop and local centre on the estate has still not materialised, say the residents, who claim the estate has been “under-managed” by developers Barratt Homes.
They are campaigning for more amenities and also a footbridge to be built over the River Ouzel that would connect Eaton Leys to the redway network near Bletchley’s Irish Centre.
“Eaton Leys needs a the bridge built NOW and a shop that is less than a mile away,” said one resident.
“It is an absolute travesty that people would be homed in an estate that they are not able to leave safely without a car, and this is the point that needs attention.
The Citizen contacted Barratt Homes and a spokesman said: “We are currently designing a brand new bridge to be located at the west side of our Woburn Downs development that will extend the shared-use path over the River Ouzel, connecting pedestrians and cyclists to the existing network.
“We hope to be able to submit plans to Milton Keynes Council next month and once approved, we anticipate the bridge will be available from May next year.”
Barratt says the overgrown field is owned by Milton Keynes City Council and the Citizen is awaiting a reply from them.
In the meantime, a wider path has been mowed over the past few days – but this is still not good enough, say residents,