The Planning Department
Council Offices
London Road
Saffron Walden
CB11 4ER

26 September 2017

I am writing on behalf of the Bishop’s Stortford Civic Federation to object to this application.

The purpose of the application is to relieve congestion within the Birchanger service station area which falls just inside the Essex county boundary. However, the consequence of this proposal, if it were to be granted permission, would be to disgorge traffic on to the A1250 Dunmow Road which, almost immediately west of the proposed new junction, falls within Hertfordshire. The effect is thus to divert traffic which would otherwise join the primary road network on to the secondary road network and also on to the road system which is the responsibility of a different highway authority. The application gives no indication as to whether Hertfordshire County Council has been consulted about it and, if so what their response has been. We also note that Highways England has recommended that the decision should be deferred.

Dunmow Road is the only access road from the M11 and A120 (east) into Bishop’s Stortford. It is heavily congested in the morning and evening peaks and should not have traffic redirected on to it which is not destined for the town, but whose presence will simply make congestion worse. About a mile west of the proposed new junction, the Dunmow Road is subject to a prohibition on the entry of HGV’s weighing more than 7.5 T (except for deliveries). Parsonage Lane, an alternative route which such traffic might take, is also subject to the ban. Unfortunately observance of the ban is patchy and enforcement infrequent. We are concerned that creating this new junction will tempt more drivers including HGV’s to take this route as a short cut rather than using the A120 bypass. In doing so, they will also make worse air pollution at the Hockerill crossroads AQMA which frequently breaches the legal limits on air quality.

In our view any new exit from the service station should join the A120 not the A1250. We note that a previous proposal to add a fifth exit to the roundabout where the two roads meet was refused on road safety grounds. We also note that Essex County Council intend to replace the roundabout with a signal controlled junction. We therefore suggest that this application should be refused permission and that the consultants be asked to prepare a design that will permit traffic from the service station to exit directly on to the westbound A120 with only minimal disruption to other traffic on the A120-M11 roundabout and minimum delay at the new A120- A1250 junction.

Yours faithfully