Highways England have now given us two ‘consultations’ but it is clear they will not really engage and answer the questions properly unless there is a formal process like a planning enquiry to consider the lorry park. Here is an example.
This is a major transportation facility which affects a motorway, at least two motorway junctions, an existing motorway service area and surrounding local roads. Wouldn’t you think they would have done some traffic modelling by now? I asked to see the modelling data and results and was told (3 weeks later) there weren’t any.
So I said, that’s funny, someone at one of the public exhibitions told me they had done some, using some software called VISSIM to model movements in the lorry park.
So then they said (3 weeks later) oh yes, we did use VISSIM. But they didn’t send the results.
Now VISSIM is probably not the best thing to model the J11 and J12 roundabouts so I believe there is some more modelling they have done but have not told me about. Will it take another 3 weeks to get that?
All their answers have either carelessly or deliberately mis-read my questions:
Me: I would be grateful if you could send me or publish all reports and details of the traffic modelling for both parts of the lorry park and Junction 11.
HE: Thank you for … your request to receive the Traffic Modelling Assessment reports from the two proposed sites; Stanford West and Junction 11.
Me: Thank you for your response, although it is now too late for any traffic modelling information to inform my submission on the public consultation just closed.
HE: We apologise for the delay in our reply which meant you were unable to submit your submission to the public consultation.
Me: We were told that by providing direct access from the M20, local roads would be unaffected but that doesn’t seem to be the case for the westbound off-slip [of J11] even if you manage to solve the weaving problem and keep the eastbound off-slip open at the junction.
HE: Thank you for your comments about the closure of the coast bound exit of Junction 11.
Would they be so sloppy in front of a planning inspector or a judge?