Vital grid roads are to take in expansion

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PLANS to extend the grid roads into the Western Expansion Area have ‘saved Milton Keynes’ according to a local activist.

Thoe Chalmers, head of Urban Eden, has been lobbying Milton Keynes Council to ensure that the iconic transport links, which have made MK famous, are continued into the new parts of the city.

The Western Expansion Area (WEA) will see thousands of new homes built, though original designs saw the grid road system discontinued in favour of city streets like the troubled Countess Way in Broughton, as originally reported in The Citizen.

But Mr Chalmers has been given assurances by Councillor John Bint, portfolio holder for transport and highways, that the council will try to incorporate the grid roads wherever possible in the WEA.

Mr Chalmers said: “I believe this has saved Milton Keynes – it really is that important.

“Not only will this link the WEA with the transport network, but it will also continue to develop Milton Keynes based on the foundations upon which the city was first built.

“The WEA is a huge area of land – bigger even than Buckingham. So not to include the area on the grid seems crazy.

“We have fought hard to get these assurances from the council, but we have to make sure that they will come through with their promises now.”

Councillor Bint assured members of Urban Eden that he would fight to get the grid roads extended into the WEA by working with developers Gallaghers in order to find a suitable solution.

He said: “There is no objection in principle to a city street being used internally within the WEA, as an internal design feature.

“It occurs to me that actually it will be able to fulfil that purpose far better with some redesign now that the weight of through traffic can be removed from the heart of the development and put on to the suggested new pieces of fully connected grid road.”