Parkside Drive - To Connect or Not to Connect, That Is The Question

Speakers against connection of Parkside Drive.

Yesterday, I attended the Open forum meeting of a series of hearings this week to do with the Woodside Connection, a proposed new road to link Woodside Industrial estate, Houghton Regis, to a point close to the to-be-constructed M1 junction 11a. Most of the people commenting on the day represented themselves as residents, and by and large all focussed their concerns about the "optional" Parkside Drive link.

I spoke after most of the others had, and kept to a personal viewpoint. I said that I had moved to the area in 2006, and had considered moving to the Houghton Park estate but as a commuter had realised that would have created extra journey distance for me, and had instead moved to where I had now, saving myself a mile and a half travelling each day; the point being that other people who lived in further away roads like Conway Close, probably went through the same thought process when buying their properties, and despite the distance had still chosen to live where they did for other reasons - quietness, and green  amenity spaces.

I pointed out that I ran a Facebook Page for the area, to inform people what was going on in the locality, and to find out what they thought of issues; I had not been aware of a great clamour of excitement at the prospect of Parkside Drive being connected to the new main road.

I pointed out that in my view, localism was about council's responding to what the people wanted. This scheme to connect Parkside Drive was a top down approach from the (Central Bedfordshire) council. I had not been aware that any great number of people wanted the Parkside Drive connected, therefore was puzzled as to why the council wanted to spend money.

I also drew attention to the potential for crime; having Parkside Drive connected for a quick entry and exit to a major road and motorway could be an incentive for criminals to turn-over a nearby house. And I expressed concerns that opening up the amenity land could encourage access for unwelcome encampments by  gypsies and travellers, if there were not embankments landscaped into the scheme.