Xplain is still hopeful on monorail plans

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Local campaign group Xplain are still hopeful that their idea for a Personalised Rapid Transit (PRT) system can go ahead writes Liam Andrews.

The Citizen understands the council’s highways department is looking into the idea of introducing a PRT system into the city at some point.

The grid roads in Milton Keynes were originally built in order to have the potential for a monorail style transport in the future.

Leader of Xplain, Linda Inoki, said: “Thanks to the efforts of ordinary citizens like us, who are constantly campaigning to keep MK special, the message seems to be getting through to MK Council that our generous boulevards and grid roads are the key to better transport and more sustainable growth.

“Critical to introducing a PRT system is the retention of our public infrastructure, which provides the space, flexibility and connectivity that other UK cities can only dream of.“As you know from the Primark fiasco, certain developers look upon our valuable infrastructure as expendable. To their cost, they now realise that the people of MK will not sit by while our master-planned city is trashed.”

This type of system is already in use in the United Kingdom at Heathrow Airport and has been widely praised for its success.

The campaign group had argued against plans to remove the Secklow Gate Bridge to build a Primark and this in part led to the council denying planning permission in February this year.

Ms Inoki added: “Regarding our idea of a PRT link from the station to Campbell Park, along Midsummer Boulevard. We do not know if this is feasible, to be fair, because we do not have the resources to commission a study. But the principle of retaining the route was something we fought hard for, when it came under threat from a different band of retailers.

“Fortunately, the council’s planning committee accepted our arguments and roundly refused planning permission for Legal & General (then owners of Midsummer Place) to build new shops over the protected transport route that runs right along Midsummer Boulevard and through the development.

“Whatever the technical answer, there is a huge need to improve the use of public transport into and around the centre, both to reduce our carbon emissions, and to keep the city flowing.”