Sunday, October 28, 2018

Driving ourselves mad

It's beyond dispute that more homes need to be built to help solve the housing crisis that is making renting and buying cripplingly expensive for young people. But it's also important to ensure that the resulting developments are properly and thoughtfully planned. As new research conducted by Transport for New Homes has underlined, however, that's very often not the case.

As someone who used to work in the immediate vicinity, it comes as absolutely no surprise to me to see Great Western Park in Didcot - an enormous, soulless, featureless development just off the A34 - singled out as a particularly glaring example. Community facilities are sorely lacking, and everything is geared around the car.

As the parent of a young child, I freely admit that using the car is often the quickest and most stress-free means of getting about. But this should only be one among many available transport options. How is it that insisting that the car should be king has been acknowledged as folly with respect to our city centres (see the redevelopment of Birmingham, in particular) but not to the places where so many of us actually live?

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