I don’t want to go straight

PUBLISHED: 12:46 21 July 2006 | UPDATED: 22:00 28 May 2010

I LIVE in a cul-de-sac. I have done for more than 30 years. And I love it. It s quiet, friendly, safe, relatively crime-free and the properties are well cared for. A dead-end street it certainly is not, whatever modern-day planners may think. This rather

I LIVE in a cul-de-sac. I have done for more than 30 years. And I love it.

It's quiet, friendly, safe, relatively crime-free and the properties are well cared for.

A dead-end street it certainly is not, whatever modern-day planners may think.

This rather odd new thinking by our planners tells us that straight lines are better, that through-streets allow people to walk more and that cul-de-sacs are less convenient for buses.

And to prove that cul-de-sacs (or should it be culs-de-sac?) should be discouraged, we are told that people who live in them weigh, on average, six pounds more than those who do not.

All of which is balderdash. I admit I'm overweight, but I was overweight when I lived in a through road. And as I look around at my cul-de-sac neighbours I don't see any evidence that they are fatter than anyone else.

Why the Government - and this crazy initiative has started in a Government think tank - should waste time and public money promoting straight-through roads I don't know. Perhaps those involved are ex-members of the flat earth society looking for a new cause to espouse. Perhaps it's all part of a long-term strategy that means all areas of the country - not just busy urban areas - will one day get a decent bus service, a service which can be provided much more efficiently if it caters for only straight-through roads.

But I doubt it. It just seems like more meaningless statistics for their own sake.

Contrary to what these blinkered statisticians may believe, the people in my cul-de-sac do walk to the corner shop and into town, just as much as those living in the adjacent through road.

We are told cul-de-sac developments create rich pickings for criminals. While I acknowledge I have been burgled, this is patently untrue. As I said earlier, crime here is low, almost certainly because we have no though traffic which means fewer opportunities to get into mischief.

And we don't have a litter problem. Why? Because we don't have pedestrians walking through and the residents care about their street. On top of that, shortage of traffic - vehicles, cycles and pedestrians - reduces the chance of accidents.

So let's hear it for the cul-de-sac, where children can play without too much risk and where adults can enjoy a greater sense of community and a safer environment.


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