To look at the future I've found it's best to look to the past.
Harlow New Town was built with council houses for a population of 60,000 by a Labour Government, with a promised major road to the West and North plus two bridges over the river and railway, linking the major road to the two industrial estates.
In the 70's a later Conservative government decided to save money and put the major road the M11, to the East and South, destroying the structure of the original planned town.
Prompting the master planner Sir Frederick Gibberd to say "it's like building a sea side town then someone moved the sea."
Of course this means all of the traffic coming from the major road, the M11, to the industrial estates has to run all the way through Harlow rather than the planned routes.
Now authorities want to build a new town, at Gilston, in Hertfordshire, currently at around 10,000 homes.
This equates to roughly 20,000 to 30,000 people, with at least 10,000 to 15,000 extra vehicles.
10,000 new homes could be just a start, remember Harlow started with a planned population of 60,000 that increased to over 89,000, with even more housing already with planing permission, many more home building projects are in the background within Harlow and other developments nearby, the population will increase.
In the past there was a provisional planing proposal of "Harlow North" in Hunsdon, Hertfordshire, where 20,000 new homes were promised, it's still roughly the same piece of land, Hunsdon is next to Gilston, now with a new different title, add "Harlow North" Hunsdon development to the equation, with double the number of homes, double the number of people and double the number of extra Hertfordshire vehicles.
Linking Gilston in Hertfordshire to the M11.
It's now a Conservative Government, in the past to save money they have destroyed the original plans and structure of Harlow.
Where do you think you would put a Gilston in Hertfordshire link road to the M11?
Possibly in Hertfordshire near Gilston linking up with the A414 to Hertford then link it directly with the M11?
This would make sense and complete the Hertfordshire "Northern Orbital"section of road started in the 1930's, putting a link in Hertfordshire to the M11, then traffic could reach the M25 and Dartford tunnel.
The orginal destination of the Northern Orbital was to Dartford Tunnel.
For the most part the A414 is a duel carriageway, that runs all the way from Watford to St. Albans and Hatfield, then on to Hertford where it contines on towards Harlow.
It deviates from the plans that showed it would bypass Harlow, the plans show it would have been just South of Harlow's Southern boundary, then linking up directly with the M11.
Instead it runs into Harlow in Essex where the money ran out, it gets stuck.
Traffic moves on through Essex and the A414 remains little more than a "B414" road all the way through Essex to Chelmsford in Essex and beyond to Maldon Essex.
The authorities decided to put the M11 Hertfordshire link road into Essex, into the centre of Harlow of course.
Then they can run all the extra traffic through Harlow rather than build the link road in Hertfordshire, near Gilston.
Just think of all of the extra Hertfordshire vehicles, all going through Harlow's main shopping centre, Templefields, to reach the M11.
Fifty years later the Gilston / Hunsdon population might have risen to nearly the same as Harlow, with even more Hertfordshire vehicles running through Harlow.
Then there might be talk of a Harlow bypass!
Why run all the M11 traffic through Harlow?
Obviously it is a Conservative Government, it must be to save money again.
Or is it because authorities think the current population of Harlow are so apathetic.
Or is it the carrot being dangled, more "affordable homes" one day, for Harlow children or more likely their grandchildren by calling the new town project
Harlow and Gilston a Garden Town.
Please read it, find out how many more new developments are underway in the Harlow area.
Though it misses out all of the thousands of new homes building that are in Harlow town centre.
Now because of the new title, Harlow is in Hertfordshire, I wonder who gets the council taxes to this new Garden town?
While the older Harlow (new town) remains in Essex it has to destroy green spaces by building homes on it's green spaces, to comply with Conservative Government "planning".
This will be yet another change to the master plan by a Conservative Government, the master plan was: high density housing with nearby access to open green spaces.
Simular to the concept of a Garden Town.
Within the M11 junction 7a plans there hasn't been any thought of the impact on Harlow`s existing housing estate roads, where traffic is already trying to avoid hold ups, by running through housing estates, despite an advisory 20 MPH, vehicles are attempting the same speeds as they would on a 40 mph main road.
There has been no movement from Essex County Council to make the 20 MPH speed limits mandatory within housing estates, in London 20 MPH is everywhere, the difference in London 20 MPH is on major roads as well.
First Avenue is already trying to deal with traffic that it has not been designed for, neither have the junctions the road crosses, causing disruption to South - North traffic, heading for Templefields shopping centre and industrial estate.
First Avenue will become the main route for HGV traffic coming from junction 7a to the Pinnacles industrial estate, to do this traffic will have to pass two secondary schools, one primary, plus access to numerus primary schools along with the traffic they generate as parents go to work.
Adding to this, four pedestrian crossings with traffic lights that already hold up traffic blocking major intersections.
The congestion in Harlow will only get worse.
The road traffic designers of Essex County Council have spent an extraordinary length of time, widening the major road the A414 (this now runs through Harlow) at Edinburgh Way, putting traffic lights on the Harlow Mill roundabout, ready for the new Gilston town.
On the route into Harlow from the expected new junction 7a M11 link road they have also spent money widening roads and putting in a larger roundabout at Mark Hall.
Obviously they do not expect any traffic to use this roundabout or the new link road, as they didn't put any traffic lights on this roundabout, already it is resulting in vehicles queueing on their newly widened A414 from the Clock Tower, just imagine the queues when the new link road is open as vehicles have to give way to traffic from the right at a roundabout, the new junction 7a M11 link road.
A friend of mine went to the to the M11 junction 7a display in Sheering, luckily he managed to speak to the designer in charge, my friend pointed out to the designer that they had put a pedestrian crossing and a bus lane both with sets of traffic lights about 40 meters apart on the approach to the town centre on Second Avenue.
The lights were working independently of each other, so the pedestrian lights would say go and the bus lane lights would say stop, then visa versa, these lights were causing a queue back to the M11 junction 7, miles away, this had been going on for years, causing lots of frustration and confusion.
The designer said he wasn't going to remove the bus lane lights as buses would struggle to turn right from the bus lane.
My friend thought the buses manage to struggle past parked cars with a "fag paper" of space, they would be able to negotiate changing lanes.
About a month after this conversation the bus lane lights were removed.
Looking at all of Essex County Council Road traffic planners many recent mistakes to road design, for example, "The Water gardens/ Police station roundabout".
I get the impression the designers have given up, as we will not be there, we will not have to pay for our mistakes today,
someone else will have to solve the problem and pay in the future.
Harlow town centre has now become a developers playground, get planning permission, sell it, then change the planning permission, squeeze even more housing onto the land, sell it again, so it goes on. Nothing has been built for years but lots of money has been made.
When Google Maps was first published it put Harlow in Hertfordshire
I'd love Harlow to be in Hertfordshire, better maintained roads, pavements, schools, youth service and libraries, the list could go on and on.
But alas I'm stuck with a county council I cannot be proud of.