'This will make Kenilworth a suburb of Coventry': Warwick district Green Party criticises plans for new dual carriageway near Leamington, Kenilworth and Warwick
The project also includes new cycle routes and 'improved access to other methods of travelling'
Members of the Warwick district Green Party have criticised the continuation of plans for a new dual carriageway around the University of Warwick near the A46 Stoneleigh junction.
The new link road is planned between the A46 Stoneleigh Junction, the University of Warwick and Westwood Heath and the project also includes new cycle routes and 'improved access to other methods of travelling'.
The plans were discussed during a Warwick District Council cabinet meeting on July 8, where the council decided to continue to work with the university and Warwickshire County Council for the project.
As well as agreeing to continue to work with those working on the project, the council said it would not endorse any planning decision until further assessments are made on traffic in the area.
Cllr John Cooke, Warwick District Council’s portfolio holder for economy and place, said: "As agreed by the Warwick District Council Cabinet, the council feels that it is important to continue to be actively involved with this project and its potential benefits to local infrastructure and improvements to sustainable transport in the area.
"As noted in the meeting the council will not endorse any planning decision on a new link route until further reassessments are made of traffic flows following the pandemic and the opportunities for the development of a new transport interchange and VLR from Warwick University are explored.”
However, the Warwick district Green Party criticised this move and the continuation of the project.
Cllr James Kennedy, Kenilworth Park Hill (Green), said: “Building a new dual carriageway will concrete over the greenbelt near Crackley Woods and make Kenilworth a suburb of Coventry.
"It will only increase traffic and further reduce air quality.
"We can deal with the increases in commuting through accelerated investment in new public transport like the Very Light Rail scheme being developed in Coventry, the new mainline station and in walking and cycling infrastructure.
“Warwickshire County Council need to act on the climate emergency, follow Department of Transport policy on prioritising active travel, heed their own consultation in which most respondents rejected this proposed new road, and deliver a transport structure that is fit for the future.”
Warwickshire County Council have also responded to the Green Party's comments on the plans.
Cllr Wallace Redford, portfolio holder for transport and planning, said: "Warwickshire County Council carried out a consultation earlier this year to review the A46 Strategic Link Road scheme.
"The broad principles of the scheme include within them sustainable transport such as cycling, VLR and bus provision to encourage more active and sustainable travel and have reduction of emissions and a significantly reduced Carbon footprint at their heart.
"To complete the scheme, we would require funding from the Department of Transport (DfT).
"This application process will involve DfT independently assessing any new infrastructure needs in accordance with current government guidance and ensure that they are supporting the Government's approach.
"If funding is successful, a scheme will be developed that has sustainable transport as a main aspect of the scheme.
"The scheme will be designed to the latest guidance to best encourage use with consultation of key groups and stakeholders to ensure that these are meeting the needs of the users.
"During the next stages of work, environmental surveys will be carried out to establish more detail regarding the habitats along the route.
"The proposals for any infrastructure will also include landscaping and habitat protection or replacement with the aim of maintaining or improving the biodiversity of the area.
"This will be tested and monitored through the planning process."