THE current proposals for Wessex Fields illustrate that whilst economic development brings benefits to the local community, without proper safeguards it also has the potential to bring disbenefits, particularly in the impact upon the highway network and traffic congestion and upon local residents. This is something that Savills in their Urban Dorset paper have either forgotten or ignored (Daily Echo, November 16).

They highlight Lansdowne, Talbot Village, the airport business park and Poole Harbour as zones ripe for growth. I wonder if they have first hand knowledge of these areas as they all suffer from traffic congestion at the moment especially at peak time, and these proposals would in themselves only serve to exacerbate that.

The suggested Talbot Village site only has two means of access and both go on to Wallisdown Road. These accesses serve both universities as well as a residential area and at evening peak times there are always queues to get on to Wallisdown Road. Traffic crawls along Wallisdown Road from early morning to late evening and is almost at a standstill at peak hours. To suggest this area is ripe for growth is unreasonable. The traffic issue along Wallisdown Road needs to be addressed before this development is allowed to take place. The same could be said of the other sites.

The report plays lip service to the problems of traffic congestion by talking about the need to improve road and rail links to ease movement and allow for economic growth. The problem is that any improvements of the existing network can only tinker at the edges and there is no likelihood of resurrecting schemes such as the Wallisdown and Castle Lane Relief Roads.

I would like to think that the new combined authority would have the backbone to stand up to those with vested interests, especially financial ones, and insist that none of these developments take place unless and until appropriate measures are in place to mitigate the undoubted problems they will cause. Sadly, if past experience is anything to go by, that will not be the case and the conurbation will continue to grind to a hall.

RF COOPER, Laidlaw Close, Poole