THE prospect of March expanding considerably, initially in the building of a large residential estate along Estover Road and eventually at other opportunist sites in the town is one of concern.
I understand Mr Watson’s alarm and that of Estover Road residents that the recreation field, more or less a green belt area to mind, development there will have the potential to affect the whole of March, certainly not for the best. The growth of large housing estates on the town parameters will doubtlessly add to the serious traffic congestions already being experienced in the commercial centre.
Existing populations are bound to increase to some extent. The problem with March lies in the town’s inherent medieval infrastructure. Main roads follow routes laid down hundreds of years ago. These roads simply cannot conform to present needs of a well thought-out system allowing convenient ingress into the town centre. That potentially does not exist.
A solution, should one exist, does not lend itself to building additional roads unless wholesale demolition of some existing properties came about and of course, that is not practical or desirable.
Years ago someone suggested that an existing road on the north side of the river be extended across it and through the park in order to help relieve traffic congestion. Unthinkable!
It might make some sense to provide another car park, but where? Excessive tailbacks at the traffic lights in Station Road/Broad street and at the busy Creek Road junction, inconvenient hot spots, would result in quieter roads being used to avoid tailbacks and having difficulty merging with the main stream of traffic and still be held back at the junctions.
In the late 19th century a plan was proposed to build a wide road from the north end of Broad Street along part of Robinggoodfellows Lane parallel with station road directly to the railway station. This was abandoned but it might well have offered a workable solution to delaying traffic in our present time.
It makes sense to preserve recreation spaces and rebuff speculators ambitions to swamp March with surfeit of buildings adding unsolvable pressure on prevalent traffic problems which is assuredly what would happen. The same dilemma is causing similar headaches at many places. I hope Fenland District Council will think seriously of the implications.
If houses are built on the recreational field along Estover Road how long before the towns other recreational spaces share the same fate?