City of Freedom

Milton Keynes is ‘The City of Freedom’. It was designed that way.

What we have:

Grid roads
- provide a city wide network of high speed roads that offer a choice of routes for the movement of traffic and keep it flowing throughout the city
- segregate through traffic from pedestrians and other users by keeping it away from housing areas
- keep cars on the move cutting emissions, fuel-use
- help to make housing areas safer for children, pedestrians and cyclists
- have the potential to be used for a direct and fast public transport system (because of the kilometer square building blocks no house is more than 500 metres from a grid-road bus stop)
- can provide a user-friendly public transport system, because everyone in the existing housing areas lives within a ten minute walk from where grid road bus stops could be sited.

Landscaping on the grid roads
- keeps traffic pollution, noise, glare and spray way from housing areas – provides attractive journeys through shrubs and trees that change with the seasons – helps to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions and the absorption of rainwater.

A city-wide system of redways, underpasses and bridges over grid roads
- provides traffic free links across the city, and between neighbouring local areas and their facilities – gives opportunities for all ages to walk and cycle without fear of traffic – helps to keep pedestrians, cyclists and electric disabled-scooter users safe.

The expansion plans intend to:

Grid roads
- downgrade some existing grid roads to ridiculous and dangerous mixed-use ‘City Streets’ and change parts of them to 30 and 40 mph roads
- not dual the existing single-carriageway grid roads (which were always designed to be dualled as the city expands; the bridges are already wide enough!)
- replace the roundabouts on some grid roads with traffic lights
- add useless, empty, traffic-blocking 24-hour bus lanes
- not expand the grid road system into the new development areas – create a public transport system that uses the roads within housing areas, not the grid roads.

Landscaping on the grid roads
- remove landscaping on the down graded grid roads replacing with buildings to road edge
- replace established planting with buildings to road edge, including car parks (some multistorey), e.g. on the CMK sections of Portway and Childs Way.

A city-wide system of redways, underpasses and bridges over grid roads
- no additional underpasses and bridges, and block off/infill existing underpasses where these link into new development areas.
- not continue the traffic separated redway system in the new development areas (painting a pavement red does not constitute a ‘redway’!)
- create public transport spines in the new development areas to be used by cyclists, pedestrians, public transport and cars
- give priority on the public transport spines to cyclists, pedestrians and public transport – how has not been explained
- use traffic lights with pedestrian phases on down graded grid roads and the 30 and 40 mph roads in the new development areas.

What this will mean for Milton Keynes
- Compromising the factors that make people like living in Milton Keynes; ease of movement and access (The City of Freedom), and an attractively landscaped green environment
- Congestion on remaining grid roads caused by tail backs from traffic on 30 and 40 mph downgraded grid roads, bus-lanes, and public transport spines
- Less safe housing areas as they are used as rat runs to avoid congestion
- A user-unfriendly public transport system on buses that travel through housing areas and on slow congested roads
- Cycling and walking throughout the city will be less safe and comfortable.