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NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 26 NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 27

Milton Keynes, the English new town that was


tailor made for the car, is entering a new era
of growth. Adding a further 100,000 to the
existing 200,000 inhabitants implies a step
change in the approach to new development,
and successful implementation of the
proposed measures means changing the
hearts and minds of the residents and the
council. Transforming the way people move
around impinges on the very nature of this
community. Milton Keynes is about to
discover the advantages of propinquity.
Impression ot the new station concourse. (source: gemeente Utrecht / ProRail 2006, design by Benthem Crouwel Architecten)

all the flows very effectively. To the east, the terminal will have and the new tower extension of the Rabobank headquarters. Not Impression of the upgraded shopping centre ‘thecentre:mk’.

Reinventing Milton Keynes


to be connected to the Hoog Catharijne shopping centre and the bad at all, given the regulatory situation.
Nieuwe Stationsstraat (New Station Street), and to the west to
Jaarbeursplein. To free Westplein from all through traffic, the light However, it is proving difficult to find an equilibrium between public
rail from Nieuwegein will be moved to the western side of the and private interests along the Centre Boulevard that everyone can
station, parallel to the railway. agree to. The crossing of the extension of the Hoog Catharijne shopping Frank van der Hoeven, Delft University towns can proceed as before: the additional and patterns, spatial planners had to provide
centre with the Catharijnesingel is burdened by the constant pressure of Technology / Urbanism, Lead Partner urban growth will have an impact on the maximum accessibility that would allow
After the final assessment of the masterplan by the City Council of sky high expectations of financial yields by the owner and a Connected Cities town centre, the infrastructure, the density people to develop their own networks. The
in December 200, the spatial ambitions were fixed. Parallel to the laborious design trajectory involving the City Council. The ambiguous photos: Frank van der Hoeven (unless indicated otherwise) and the very identity of the communities translation of such ideas into reality led to
political process, contracts were drawn up with the three largest analysis of the problem and the resulting unclear concepts are not involved. It will also make them less a different kind of city.
private parties: NS-Poort, the privatised development company of bringing the process any closer to a favourable outcome. Just after the second world war the general dependent on the mother city. This is
NS; Corio, the owner and developer of Hoog Catharijne; and Royal perception was that large metropolises like particularly clear in the case of Milton In traditional towns and cities, main roads
Dutch Jaarbeurs as the developer of their own land. These contracts, complexity London, Paris and the Randstad were not the Keynes in England. or boulevards often form the backbone of
known as bilateral agreements of intention (bilaterale intentie- Another notable development is that the complex planning right environment for people to live in. They urban life and are lined with the fronts of
overeenkomsten or BIO), are the bases for further cooperation. strategy of integrating different functions for different clients has would be better off in well planned mid-sized The development of Milton Keynes new major buildings, institutions or prominent
They were signed on the  March 2006, just ahead of the local authority been reintroduced on the west side of the terminal. There is a proposal towns at a secure distance from the mother town started in the early 1970s. Milton residential blocks. In Milton Keynes these
election, and are the first in a series of agreements: intention, for a new municipal office building with its main entrance on the level city. The new towns (or villes nouvelles in Keynes helped to accommodate the growing things work differently. The town is designed
development and project agreements that are to be signed with of the terminal hall, a large volume over the hall itself and a public France and groeikernen in the Netherlands) population of South East England, and in along a system of segregated grid roads that
each party and eventually for each individual building project. route through the middle. This has uncovered an issue that we intended were based on this notion. Most of these particularly that of London. Located halfway provide a high level of accessibility. There
to avoid while working on the masterplan: this kind of complexity new towns grew to what was considered between London and Birmingham, it grew are no buildings located along these grid
A statutory structure plan was also drawn up in parallel to the political is directly related to building costs and rental levels. A particularly their optimal size, about 0,000 inhabitants. into England’s largest new town with well roads. Drivers move through landscaping
process for the assessment of the masterplan. Unfortunately, intelligent architect (Dirk-Jan Postel of Kraayvanger) has been appointed Thirty or forty years after their conception, over 200,000 inhabitants. It is known for its and greenery with little that refers to the
a detailed zoning plan (bestemmingsplan) proved to be a step too to produce a synthesis for complexity, good design and feasibility a handful of these new towns are now system of segregated grid roads and the 10 urban areas and their communities, which are
far because of the new European rules for particulate matter (PM10), within the Utrecht context. His task will not be an easy one. entering a new cycle of growth. They are no roundabouts that connect them. The town located within the grid blocks. Single and dual
which are currently blocking planning procedures throughout the longer dependent on their mother city; they was designed along the ideas of Melvin M. carriageways run between the communities
Netherlands. This problem will have to be solved largely by central What gives us hope is that the plan as a whole is not collapsing under have matured and have acquired the Webber, a California-based urban designer rather than through them. The absence of
government. Because Utrecht has been chosen as a pilot project in the strain of such problems. They can be solved ‘locally’ by analysing potential to become cities in their own right. who introduced the idea of ‘community road-fronting buildings, cyclists or pedestrians
the search for solutions to this problem, some projects can go ahead. them within their own specific context of either the existing Milton Keynes in England, Sénart in France without propinquity’. Webber argued that along the often elevated grid roads allow for
At the moment, mid 2007, work is proceeding on the detailed plans environment or the situation proposed in the masterplan. The credo of and Almere in Holland are good examples propinquity (or nearness) was no longer a maximum speeds up to 100 kilometres or
for projects on both sides of the railway: on the city side the new the masterplan – repair, connect and give meaning – is holding up well. of communities set to enter a new phase in necessary condition for social and economic more per hour. Most inhabitants move in this
Music Palace and a retail block on the Vredenburg square; on the their development. Renewed growth does networks. Instead of trying to pre-programme way from the one grid block to the other,
west side the Holland Casino, a hotel, a multiplex cinema complex Reactions to: bouwman@novaterra.net Y not mean that the planners of these new such networks by using classic urban forms all measuring about one square kilometre. Y
NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 28 NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 29

objectives for central milton keynes (cmk)


24,000 surface car parking spaces in Central Private courtyards and gardens for residential blocks Larger single use blocks may also
be accomodated
Milton Keynes. Initially, parking was even – To create an environment to attract
free in the town centre. ‘We’ve got a city quality employment opportunities and
population that expects to drive. So, don’t 30m spread economic employment benefits

G
at
es
be surprised that most people do drive: Larger block can be subdivided to Milton Keynes as whole.
into smaller blocks
86 per cent of the trips in this town are – To be the focus for major retail, leisure,
travelled by car. Right now we are planning entertainment, civic and cultural uses.
a next generation of growth. In the next 40m – To remain as the ‘heart’ for the local
thirty years Milton Keynes will build 70,000 community, supporting the needs
homes and accommodate 70,000 jobs. and requirements of all residents of
The first phase of this growth includes the 20m Milton Keynes, including their social
sSurface level car parking reprovided
western and eastern expansion areas with rd in multi storey blocks and cultural needs.
24m eva
6500 and 4000 new homes. It also includes ul – To cater for the needs of local businesses,
Bo
Central Milton Keynes, with its 6500 new A finer great street pattern and contribute to the success of the local
Milton Keynes from the air. (photo: Milton Keynes Council) apartments and town houses, an additional economy.
400,000 square metres of office space, – To provide new city centre living, adding

86 per cent of
Private areas enclosed within the block
60,000 extra square metres of retail, and including parking and servicing to the culture, vitality, vibrancy and sense
in 2003. These growth areas are designed to other cultural and leisure facilities.’ of community within the centre.

the trips in secure the economic success of London and the Densification plan for Central Milton Keynes. (illustration: Karin Dekker, Amsterdam) – To become a mature, vibrant and truly

this town are


South East over the long term. This summer central milton keynes mixed-use centre that is accessible to all.
I met with David Hackforth, head of planning Many of the changes will take place in ‘Recent development in CMK has been more development comes in higher densities, with – To remain a comfortable and safe place

travelled by car
and transport Milton Keynes Council and Central Milton Keynes (CMK), which has been balanced, continues David. ‘Leisure, culture, building heights between six and twenty to visit, to ensure people will visit time
Kevin Whiteside, the council’s chief highways very successful from the outset. As in other apartments and town houses are coming in. stories – whatever the market will bear. and again.
and transportation engineer, to discuss what new towns, the centre was little more than First, the Xscape was built, Europe’s largest To make way for such developments parking – To deliver useable sustainable forms of
Cyclists and pedestrians depend on their this ‘second generation of growth’ will mean an office park with a large shopping mall. indoor ‘real snow’ ski slope. It also houses, is increasingly being provided in multi-story transport and encourage walking, cycling
own infrastructure, the redways, which use for urban development and overall mobility CMK is still dominated by what is now called under the ski slope, an indoor rock climbing car parks. The time of unlimited surface and bus usage.
underpasses or bridges to cross the roads. in Milton Keynes. ‘thecentre:mk’. With a glass construction wall, a 16-screen multiplex cinema and a parking is over.’ – To become a more pedestrian friendly
Fast and slow traffic are highly segregated David explained that Milton Keynes is built on almost a kilometre in length, thecentre:mk family entertainment centre. The Xscape area with a high quality public realm.
and as a result people perceive the overall the principle that people are free to do what is one of the longest covered shopping areas was attracted by the site that was available The Council has produced a vision for the – To deliver the highest quality design.
transport network in Milton Keynes as safe. they want. That includes driving. The grid roads in Europe. It offers high street stores and in the centre and by the fact that half the central part of Central Milton Keynes, Central
The Milton Keynes grid clearly favours the with their speeds up to about 100 kilometres smaller, specialist shops, and attracts nearly population of England lives about two hours CMK. ‘It recognises what this part of town
car over any other means of transportation. per hour support that, together with the thirty million visits a year. drive away. This attraction, coupled with the means for Milton Keynes, for its citizens and for
The main public transport service in town is new theatre district, has created a growing the region. It also outlines the opportunities
provided by buses. Although ridership has demand for visitor accommodation. Two for contemporary urban living there. The vision ‘Central CMK will develop into a traditional
been steadily improving, the overall number commercially driven hotels are also now comes with a long list of objectives. These centre, although I don’t know whether
of bus journeys is relatively low and the bus being built, but there is clearly a growing follow a wide-ranging public consultation everybody would agree. I expect only five per
service is not generally held in high regard need for a cheaper hotel. programme. I think that most of us will cent of the people understand the implications
by the community. As a result, the bus serves agree with these,’ David concludes. of their own wishes. This isn’t about small
mainly those without a car. Cyclists constitute ‘The construction of 1,900 apartments has changes. We are dealing with fundamental
a group small, representing only 3 per cent also begun at the flagship West End traditional city centre change. One of the principles is getting more
of the trips made in Milton Keynes, and development, the first project of its kind ‘It is a recipe that turns Milton Keynes activity on the street. To do so, we will add
pedestrians are found in large numbers only in Central Milton Keynes. The council was into a traditional city,’ comments Kevin more and diverse functions to the centre
in or near the town’s shopping mall. It is nervous about whether there would be a Whiteside, the Council’s Chief Highways and we will narrow most of the grid roads in
here, in Central Milton Keynes, where the demand for this type of housing because and Transportation Engineer. Kevin recently Central CMK. We are also moving away from
most visible changes are taking place. Milton Keynes has always been a single family moved into Milton Keynes. He used to work the underpasses and implementing signal
home community. The first projects are now for the Audit Commission, an independent crossings. Believe me, these are controversial
second generation of growth nearing completion. All the apartments have public body responsible for ensuring that and expensive issues. The segregated road
Milton Keynes and South Midlands are two been sold and the nervousness has evaporated. public money is spent economically, system is generally perceived as safe. When
of the four ‘growth areas’ designated in the It is now clear there is a ready and buoyant efficiently and effectively. He was one the it comes to pedestrians this is indeed the case.
Sustainable Communities Plan published market. The prospects for housing next to Commission’s inspectors and performed an Things are a bit different with cars. When we
by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Pedestrians are a rare breed outside the shopping centre. Campbell Park look good. The new audit on the Milton Keynes council. speak with people about moving away from Y
NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 28 NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 29

objectives for central milton keynes (cmk)


24,000 surface car parking spaces in Central Private courtyards and gardens for residential blocks Larger single use blocks may also
be accomodated
Milton Keynes. Initially, parking was even – To create an environment to attract
free in the town centre. ‘We’ve got a city quality employment opportunities and
population that expects to drive. So, don’t 30m spread economic employment benefits

G
at
es
be surprised that most people do drive: Larger block can be subdivided to Milton Keynes as whole.
into smaller blocks
86 per cent of the trips in this town are – To be the focus for major retail, leisure,
travelled by car. Right now we are planning entertainment, civic and cultural uses.
a next generation of growth. In the next 40m – To remain as the ‘heart’ for the local
thirty years Milton Keynes will build 70,000 community, supporting the needs
homes and accommodate 70,000 jobs. and requirements of all residents of
The first phase of this growth includes the 20m Milton Keynes, including their social
sSurface level car parking reprovided
western and eastern expansion areas with rd in multi storey blocks and cultural needs.
24m eva
6500 and 4000 new homes. It also includes ul – To cater for the needs of local businesses,
Bo
Central Milton Keynes, with its 6500 new A finer great street pattern and contribute to the success of the local
Milton Keynes from the air. (photo: Milton Keynes Council) apartments and town houses, an additional economy.
400,000 square metres of office space, – To provide new city centre living, adding

86 per cent of
Private areas enclosed within the block
60,000 extra square metres of retail, and including parking and servicing to the culture, vitality, vibrancy and sense
in 2003. These growth areas are designed to other cultural and leisure facilities.’ of community within the centre.

the trips in secure the economic success of London and the Densification plan for Central Milton Keynes. (illustration: Karin Dekker, Amsterdam) – To become a mature, vibrant and truly

this town are


South East over the long term. This summer central milton keynes mixed-use centre that is accessible to all.
I met with David Hackforth, head of planning Many of the changes will take place in ‘Recent development in CMK has been more development comes in higher densities, with – To remain a comfortable and safe place

travelled by car
and transport Milton Keynes Council and Central Milton Keynes (CMK), which has been balanced, continues David. ‘Leisure, culture, building heights between six and twenty to visit, to ensure people will visit time
Kevin Whiteside, the council’s chief highways very successful from the outset. As in other apartments and town houses are coming in. stories – whatever the market will bear. and again.
and transportation engineer, to discuss what new towns, the centre was little more than First, the Xscape was built, Europe’s largest To make way for such developments parking – To deliver useable sustainable forms of
Cyclists and pedestrians depend on their this ‘second generation of growth’ will mean an office park with a large shopping mall. indoor ‘real snow’ ski slope. It also houses, is increasingly being provided in multi-story transport and encourage walking, cycling
own infrastructure, the redways, which use for urban development and overall mobility CMK is still dominated by what is now called under the ski slope, an indoor rock climbing car parks. The time of unlimited surface and bus usage.
underpasses or bridges to cross the roads. in Milton Keynes. ‘thecentre:mk’. With a glass construction wall, a 16-screen multiplex cinema and a parking is over.’ – To become a more pedestrian friendly
Fast and slow traffic are highly segregated David explained that Milton Keynes is built on almost a kilometre in length, thecentre:mk family entertainment centre. The Xscape area with a high quality public realm.
and as a result people perceive the overall the principle that people are free to do what is one of the longest covered shopping areas was attracted by the site that was available The Council has produced a vision for the – To deliver the highest quality design.
transport network in Milton Keynes as safe. they want. That includes driving. The grid roads in Europe. It offers high street stores and in the centre and by the fact that half the central part of Central Milton Keynes, Central
The Milton Keynes grid clearly favours the with their speeds up to about 100 kilometres smaller, specialist shops, and attracts nearly population of England lives about two hours CMK. ‘It recognises what this part of town
car over any other means of transportation. per hour support that, together with the thirty million visits a year. drive away. This attraction, coupled with the means for Milton Keynes, for its citizens and for
The main public transport service in town is new theatre district, has created a growing the region. It also outlines the opportunities
provided by buses. Although ridership has demand for visitor accommodation. Two for contemporary urban living there. The vision ‘Central CMK will develop into a traditional
been steadily improving, the overall number commercially driven hotels are also now comes with a long list of objectives. These centre, although I don’t know whether
of bus journeys is relatively low and the bus being built, but there is clearly a growing follow a wide-ranging public consultation everybody would agree. I expect only five per
service is not generally held in high regard need for a cheaper hotel. programme. I think that most of us will cent of the people understand the implications
by the community. As a result, the bus serves agree with these,’ David concludes. of their own wishes. This isn’t about small
mainly those without a car. Cyclists constitute ‘The construction of 1,900 apartments has changes. We are dealing with fundamental
a group small, representing only 3 per cent also begun at the flagship West End traditional city centre change. One of the principles is getting more
of the trips made in Milton Keynes, and development, the first project of its kind ‘It is a recipe that turns Milton Keynes activity on the street. To do so, we will add
pedestrians are found in large numbers only in Central Milton Keynes. The council was into a traditional city,’ comments Kevin more and diverse functions to the centre
in or near the town’s shopping mall. It is nervous about whether there would be a Whiteside, the Council’s Chief Highways and we will narrow most of the grid roads in
here, in Central Milton Keynes, where the demand for this type of housing because and Transportation Engineer. Kevin recently Central CMK. We are also moving away from
most visible changes are taking place. Milton Keynes has always been a single family moved into Milton Keynes. He used to work the underpasses and implementing signal
home community. The first projects are now for the Audit Commission, an independent crossings. Believe me, these are controversial
second generation of growth nearing completion. All the apartments have public body responsible for ensuring that and expensive issues. The segregated road
Milton Keynes and South Midlands are two been sold and the nervousness has evaporated. public money is spent economically, system is generally perceived as safe. When
of the four ‘growth areas’ designated in the It is now clear there is a ready and buoyant efficiently and effectively. He was one the it comes to pedestrians this is indeed the case.
Sustainable Communities Plan published market. The prospects for housing next to Commission’s inspectors and performed an Things are a bit different with cars. When we
by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Pedestrians are a rare breed outside the shopping centre. Campbell Park look good. The new audit on the Milton Keynes council. speak with people about moving away from Y
NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 30 NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 31

Legend
Existing development
Little
Linford
Newport
Pagnell
Expansion areas 60 per cent increase in traffic in the next
A5
Cosgrove
City Centre (CMK) thirty years. With all the extra workplaces,
Existing landscape areas and woodland homes and shops in Central Milton Keynes,
Stony
Stratford
Wolverton
Parkland and connection to rural surroundings getting there will become an issue, especially
Old Stradford
M1
Strategic reserves sites when the population of the town increases.
Calverton
Central Kingston Lakes It will no longer be possible to drive to the
Milton A421
ToBedford
Keynes
Strategic extensions to lineair park structure centre like people used to do. We have to work
Potential new growth areas on reducing travel demand, on home working,
To the
Town Centre on better public transport and on more
Stanley Wood
South
Turtron
Lake
M1 Junction improvements walking. Changing the modal split around
Westcroft
Whaddon
Howe Park
Neighbourhood Centre is technically possible. It is a question of
Grand Union Canal transition.
Wood
Bletchley
Whaddon

Rivers
Chase

A roads ‘What we are experiencing is the classic curve


Newton

Motorway where the leaders are already over the top


Great
Hotwood Longvile
Little A5
Hotwood

Existing East-West Rail but the people are still climbing. We feel the
To Oxford New East-West Rail spur to CMK need to engage the community. The people The new urban image of Central Milton Keynes, the hub:mk.

New Highways and public transport in Milton Keynes are not convinced we have
Mursley Drayton
Winslow Parslow

connections to Growth Areas to change when we say there will be a huge across the grid roads, but the stops are parking their vehicles. However, as soon
To London

A421 Improvements problem. People do get around and the overall difficult to access. They are often elevated as people understand what the necessary
The New Plan for Milton Keynes. New connections according to ‘ Strategic City Roads journey time is low, but they do not understand and located in the middle of the greenery, measure are about, they object. They don’t
A Strategy for Growth to 2031’. (source: municipality of Milton Keynes)
Core public transport route that gridlock will happen suddenly. In winter out of sight of homes and businesses. see the consequences of what they are asking
West Coast Mainline (strategic rail corridor) with heavy snowfall a ten minute journey Directing bus services through the grid does for. People want incompatible things – they
Existing railway stations can instantly become a three hour trip. Such improve ridership, but restricts customers to want to have their cake and eat it.’

What worked until now


Possible new railway stations things will occur increasingly as long as car captives because it makes the services too
Potential new platform at CMK station traffic increases – and it will. Unfortunately slow for those with an alternative. new urban form

will not work in the next Key project areas and destinations we can’t wait until congestion finally affects Part of the growth strategy is expanding

thirty years
Potential park and ride peoples lives. The measures to reduce or east-west public transport spine Milton Keynes to the west and east and
solve congestion take years, if not decades, ‘We have a clear plan in place on how to transforming Central Milton Keynes. These
to implement. At the same time we have a implement a better bus system,’ continues areas offer a great opportunity to showcase
responsibility towards the new inhabitants. Kevin: ‘a bus rapid transit. We will develop concepts based on a new kind of urban form.
the segregated road system their reaction is emotional and political difficulty at that point. transition We can’t confront them with a growing traffic an east-west public transport spine that The new plan for Central Milton Keynes clearly
generally that what we are actually proposing It’s about changing the hearts and minds of ‘One thing is clear to us: what worked until crisis because we stopped communicating connects the western and the eastern shows what this will mean for the existing
will make Milton Keynes less safe. the people and the council. The confidence now will not work in the next thirty years. our message to the current population.’ expansion areas with Central Milton Keynes. centre. In existing areas the width of the
in the grid road system verges on an article The grid can deal with another 25 per cent It serves the three parts of town where boulevards will be reduced and a fine-grain
‘People see in all of this the first sign of a of faith. Changing it seems to be almost a increase in traffic. After that we will face not built for buses 17,000 new homes have been built, plus the street pattern introduced. The quality of public
decline of the segregation. We face an form of heresy.’ increasing gridlock. Overall we expect a But David emphasises that people do want accommodation for extra workplaces, retail, space will be improved, surface level parking
to see change. People do say they want better culture and leisure. The Midsummer will be replaced by multi-storey blocks and
Urban plan form for Central Milton Keynes. Existing buildings are purple, new buildings are orange and red. public transport. Kevin agrees: ‘Even without boulevard in Central CMK will be the public the bus system upgraded. The new expansion
the issue of growth, a better bus service is transport hub along that spine, but it won’t areas will no longer be based entirely on the
better for all. The grid seems great, but things be a traditional bus station. We are planning segregated grid system. ‘From the very
work less well for those who are marginalised, superstops with the quality you normally beginning we will build dedicated lanes for
for those households that have to do without find at light rail stops, such as better Bus Rapid Transit and take care of public space.
a car, which is about 20 per cent in Milton shelters and dynamic travel information. Once we get the quality in we can show that a
Keynes and in some wards close to 40 per cent.’ We’ve got the road space for a dedicated different urban structure based on a balanced
It is not easy to operate public transport in fast route into the city centre, but we also mix of transport modes works better. If it
Milton Keynes. Densities are comparative need priority at crossroads and additional doesn’t work out with these new areas, well…
low and workplaces are spread out. There is measures to reduce the ease of taking the [both men laugh] then we are looking for
no real congestion outside the peak. Because car. We have to take out eight roundabouts a new job’.
of the grid there are only a few main routes and replace them with signal crossings.
with a very frequent service. Buses can run In Central CMK people will pay more for Reactions to: vanderhoeven@novaterra.net Y
NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 30 NovaTerra Connected Cities / september 2007 / 31

Legend
Existing development
Little
Linford
Newport
Pagnell
Expansion areas 60 per cent increase in traffic in the next
A5
Cosgrove
City Centre (CMK) thirty years. With all the extra workplaces,
Existing landscape areas and woodland homes and shops in Central Milton Keynes,
Stony
Stratford
Wolverton
Parkland and connection to rural surroundings getting there will become an issue, especially
Old Stradford
M1
Strategic reserves sites when the population of the town increases.
Calverton
Central Kingston Lakes It will no longer be possible to drive to the
Milton A421
ToBedford
Keynes
Strategic extensions to lineair park structure centre like people used to do. We have to work
Potential new growth areas on reducing travel demand, on home working,
To the
Town Centre on better public transport and on more
Stanley Wood
South
Turtron
Lake
M1 Junction improvements walking. Changing the modal split around
Westcroft
Whaddon
Howe Park
Neighbourhood Centre is technically possible. It is a question of
Grand Union Canal transition.
Wood
Bletchley
Whaddon

Rivers
Chase

A roads ‘What we are experiencing is the classic curve


Newton

Motorway where the leaders are already over the top


Great
Hotwood Longvile
Little A5
Hotwood

Existing East-West Rail but the people are still climbing. We feel the
To Oxford New East-West Rail spur to CMK need to engage the community. The people The new urban image of Central Milton Keynes, the hub:mk.

New Highways and public transport in Milton Keynes are not convinced we have
Mursley Drayton
Winslow Parslow

connections to Growth Areas to change when we say there will be a huge across the grid roads, but the stops are parking their vehicles. However, as soon
To London

A421 Improvements problem. People do get around and the overall difficult to access. They are often elevated as people understand what the necessary
The New Plan for Milton Keynes. New connections according to ‘ Strategic City Roads journey time is low, but they do not understand and located in the middle of the greenery, measure are about, they object. They don’t
A Strategy for Growth to 2031’. (source: municipality of Milton Keynes)
Core public transport route that gridlock will happen suddenly. In winter out of sight of homes and businesses. see the consequences of what they are asking
West Coast Mainline (strategic rail corridor) with heavy snowfall a ten minute journey Directing bus services through the grid does for. People want incompatible things – they
Existing railway stations can instantly become a three hour trip. Such improve ridership, but restricts customers to want to have their cake and eat it.’

What worked until now


Possible new railway stations things will occur increasingly as long as car captives because it makes the services too
Potential new platform at CMK station traffic increases – and it will. Unfortunately slow for those with an alternative. new urban form

will not work in the next Key project areas and destinations we can’t wait until congestion finally affects Part of the growth strategy is expanding

thirty years
Potential park and ride peoples lives. The measures to reduce or east-west public transport spine Milton Keynes to the west and east and
solve congestion take years, if not decades, ‘We have a clear plan in place on how to transforming Central Milton Keynes. These
to implement. At the same time we have a implement a better bus system,’ continues areas offer a great opportunity to showcase
responsibility towards the new inhabitants. Kevin: ‘a bus rapid transit. We will develop concepts based on a new kind of urban form.
the segregated road system their reaction is emotional and political difficulty at that point. transition We can’t confront them with a growing traffic an east-west public transport spine that The new plan for Central Milton Keynes clearly
generally that what we are actually proposing It’s about changing the hearts and minds of ‘One thing is clear to us: what worked until crisis because we stopped communicating connects the western and the eastern shows what this will mean for the existing
will make Milton Keynes less safe. the people and the council. The confidence now will not work in the next thirty years. our message to the current population.’ expansion areas with Central Milton Keynes. centre. In existing areas the width of the
in the grid road system verges on an article The grid can deal with another 25 per cent It serves the three parts of town where boulevards will be reduced and a fine-grain
‘People see in all of this the first sign of a of faith. Changing it seems to be almost a increase in traffic. After that we will face not built for buses 17,000 new homes have been built, plus the street pattern introduced. The quality of public
decline of the segregation. We face an form of heresy.’ increasing gridlock. Overall we expect a But David emphasises that people do want accommodation for extra workplaces, retail, space will be improved, surface level parking
to see change. People do say they want better culture and leisure. The Midsummer will be replaced by multi-storey blocks and
Urban plan form for Central Milton Keynes. Existing buildings are purple, new buildings are orange and red. public transport. Kevin agrees: ‘Even without boulevard in Central CMK will be the public the bus system upgraded. The new expansion
the issue of growth, a better bus service is transport hub along that spine, but it won’t areas will no longer be based entirely on the
better for all. The grid seems great, but things be a traditional bus station. We are planning segregated grid system. ‘From the very
work less well for those who are marginalised, superstops with the quality you normally beginning we will build dedicated lanes for
for those households that have to do without find at light rail stops, such as better Bus Rapid Transit and take care of public space.
a car, which is about 20 per cent in Milton shelters and dynamic travel information. Once we get the quality in we can show that a
Keynes and in some wards close to 40 per cent.’ We’ve got the road space for a dedicated different urban structure based on a balanced
It is not easy to operate public transport in fast route into the city centre, but we also mix of transport modes works better. If it
Milton Keynes. Densities are comparative need priority at crossroads and additional doesn’t work out with these new areas, well…
low and workplaces are spread out. There is measures to reduce the ease of taking the [both men laugh] then we are looking for
no real congestion outside the peak. Because car. We have to take out eight roundabouts a new job’.
of the grid there are only a few main routes and replace them with signal crossings.
with a very frequent service. Buses can run In Central CMK people will pay more for Reactions to: vanderhoeven@novaterra.net Y

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