Bypass ring road plans

A letter writer to your paper suggests that a defined ring road around Hitchin, within which the town could expand, would be the answer to many problems. If there is one thing we have learnt over the past few decades it is that as sure as night follows da

A letter writer to your paper suggests that a defined ring road around Hitchin, within which the town could expand, would be the answer to many problems. If there is one thing we have learnt over the past few decades it is that as sure as night follows day, new roads generate increased traffic, along with further speculative interest. As for containing Hitchin within a defined boundary, it is not many years since we were told the A1M constituted a logical barrier to westward expansion of Stevenage.

GREGOR LAING, Milestone Road, Knebworth

* Colin Lambert asks whether he is the only person who would welcome a Hitchin bypass to be provided by a developer in exchange for building an extra 8,000 homes over the next 20 years on the Green Belt to its western boundary (letters, February 23).

I am sure that many Hitchin residents object to this proposal because if it was to be agreed in principle, a developer is not going to build a by-pass and then seek to recoup this investment over 20 years at a rate of 400 new dwellings per year - and a bypass in 20 years time when the development would be completed is not worth considering.


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Consequently the conclusion has to be that the profits to be used to provide a bypass would require a much more rapid development than 20 years and at 8,000 new homes Hitchin would quickly increase in size from 31,000 to about 50,000 people.

Apart from the loss of irreplaceable amenity land, this would place enormous pressures on the town centre.

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We need to be clear about this. Hitchin occupies a fairly crucial position in cross-country road links from the M1 to the A1M and the east coast. That alone may justify a bypass now or in the near future and as such should be part of, and funded by, the government's transport policy. Another 8,000 dwellings is irrelevant and in itself is not to the advantage of anybody other than the developer.

ALAN WEIR, Hitchin

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