A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Road Improvement scheme

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Road Improvement scheme

Received 09 June 2021
From Foot Anstey on behalf of Welcome Break Services Limited

Representation

1. Welcome Break Services Limited has responded to several of Highways England's consultations relating to the proposed Development Consent Order including in 2019 and 2020 and it has had several meetings with Highways England to discuss the impact of the proposed highways scheme on its Wyboston Service Area (WSA). 2. Highways England is aware of the potential impact of the proposed Scheme on the WSA business as its proposal involves closing the existing slip road leading from the WSA to the A-road and its replacement with a 1km egress via a 30mph service road. This will have a significant detrimental effect on the WSA business and will make the WSA significantly less commodious for travellers, undermining the very benefits that such facilities and services provide to road users. 3. Welcome Break Services Limited has made several proposals to Highways England in terms of an alternative slip road design, layout and access point onto the A-road. These alternatives are technically viable and would be more commodious for travellers. Highways England has not adopted these proposals and this will be to the detriment of those using the highway network and will detract from and not be offset by the other benefits which Highways England claims the Scheme will deliver. 4. Highways England does not appear to have followed DMRB guidance in its own designs yet it objects to Welcome Break Services Limited's proposals to retain and adapt the existing slip road along similar principles. 5. The new service road will not have traffic lights at its junction with the new roundabout. Phasing arrangements will make entry on to the roundabout difficult further undermining the claimed benefits of the Scheme. Highways England does not appear to addressed this in the Development Consent Order application. 6. The "Introduction to the Application" document states at paragraph 2.2.1 (g) "Customer satisfaction" that Highways England "listen to what is important to our customers to deliver a better road for everyone and improve customer satisfaction". There is no evidence that Highways England has sought to canvas customers of the WSA. The provision of WSAs is an important aspect of the highway network. If customers of the WSA have not been canvassed there is no clear evidence that Highways England has factored in to the design of the Scheme or its understanding of the impacts of the design of the Scheme on customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. This goes to the heart of claims by Highways England that the Scheme will improve the highway network and the experience of road users. 7. Reducing the slip road to a 1km 30 mph service road undermines the Government policy requirements relating to the services to be provided at service areas. 8. Highways England does not appear to have assessed either the impact of the changes to the slip road on the WSA business or its convenience of use for road users. Its proposal in so far as it affects WSA is inconsistent with Nation Policy Statement for National Networks which sets both the Government's vision and strategy to include improvement to journey quality. 9. Highway England has not given due consideration to alternative solutions in terms of the egress from the WSA to the A-road contrary to Government guidance on the pursuit and use of compulsory purchase powers.