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Traffic estimates for 3,500 homes at Bourn Airfield don't stack up, warn residents

A campaigner insists that the developers behind plans to build 3,500 houses on Bourn Airfield have made a massive error in its traffic survey.

Desmond O’Brien, chair of the group StopBAD (Stop Bourne Airfield Development), says residents in Bourn and the surrounding villages fear there will be traffic chaos and rat-runs if nothing is done about a low car forecast from Countryside Properties. The firm maintains that only 830 cars will leave at peak time in the morning once the 3,500 homes are built. It is a figure which has been lambasted by Mr O’Brien, who claims they do not bear proper scrutiny.

From left Des O'Brien, Les Rolfe and Steve Jones. Picture: Keith Heppell
From left Des O'Brien, Les Rolfe and Steve Jones. Picture: Keith Heppell

Mr O’Brien said: “Recent discussions with the developers have left us bewildered as the traffic movement figures presented by Countryside’s traffic consultants significantly underestimate the likely car movements. In a development of 3,500 houses Countryside’s consultants claim that only 830 cars will leave at morning peak time.

“Bizarrely, 960 will make the return journey during afternoon peak time. If you have problems at Madingley Rise then people leaving Cambourne go through the villages to get to the places they want to travel to and nobody has properly addressed the rat-run issue. Numbers are being kept irrationally low. None of it holds together in our view. The figures do not stand up to proper scrutiny. The developers should be asked to explain how they reached their figure. The one constant element is the developer wants to build 3,500 homes and that is the train driving all this.”

However, a spokesperson for Countryside Properties said: “The area will host vital infrastructure such as schools and transport links that are needed to support new communities and which benefit the whole area. We will continue to work with the county council to ensure that the scheme can be brought forward in a sustainable way and have committed to working collaboratively with the local parish councils to monitor and mitigate any impact to traffic.”

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