Alliance against road building
Alliance against road building
Please send us your roads news for the next e-bulletin - deadline 28 July. If you value our work, please consider setting up a small standing order to support us. Details of how to contribute are on our website.
(1) Campaign Updates Save Swallows Wood (Cheshire); M74 Extension (Glasgow); Aberdeen Western Bypass; Tunstall Northern Bypass (Stoke); Durham 'Relief' Road; Kingskerswell Bypass (Devon); A14 upgrade (Cambridgeshire)
(2) Transport News Local Transport Plan training and guide; Local transport in London; Fuel duty and lorry charging; Congestion charging in Cardiff; Jeremy Clarkson; Car Nation documentary; Power Up 2005
Save Swallows Wood (Cheshire)
On Sunday 10th July, the Save Swallow's Wood campaign led a walk through the Longdendale Valley, bringing local and Greater Manchester residents together so they could see for themselves the area that will be affected should the A628/A57 bypass be built.
Thanks to front-page coverage of the campaign in the print edition of a local newspaper - see http://www.tamesideadvertiser.co.uk/news/s/201/201624_keep_your_hands_off_beauty_spot.html - over 40 people turned up on the day, despite the heat, and the walk was a great success.
See stunning photos on the front page of the Road Block website. In addition to the walk, the online edition of the newspaper ran a poll asking residents whether Swallow's Wood should be concreted over with a bypass: 74% voted no, with only 26% voting in favour. For more information about the campaign against the A57/A628 bypass and future events, please visit the campaign website at www.saveswallowswood.org.uk or call Emma on 0845 226 3392.
M74 Extension (Glasgow)
During the G8 protests, three climate actions took place in solidarity with campaigners against the M74 extension through south Glasgow. Climate campaigners went to the offices of the City Council and occupied the lobby until they spoke to officers about their concerns about the scheme. It is the only urban motorway planned in the UK, and was firmly rejected by the Public Inquiry Reporter. The Scottish Executive have over turned his decision and gone ahead anyway, leading to a legal challenge by JAM74 and Friends of the Earth Scotland.
The activists then went to the Chambers of Commerce who are supporting the scheme, who closed their doors and pretended they weren't there. A demo ensued outside their offices in central Glasgow. Meanwhile hundreds of people held a street party on a main bridge in Glasgow to highlight traffic emissions and climate change, in solidarity with M74 campaigners.
Aberdeen Western Bypass
Aberdeen Friends of the Earth's campaign for sustainable transport solutions in Aberdeen continues over the summer with stalls and leafleting in the city centre to try and raise awareness of the issues surrounding the proposed Aberdeen Bypass.
Tavish Scott has recently taken over as the new Scottish Transport Minister and the group are awaiting an update as to when he intends to publish the results of April's public consultation on the Southern section of the route.
The next few months could see the Minister agree to publish the Draft Orders on the currently favoured route for the road through the sensitive community of Camphill, choose another route causing at least one year delay, or ditch the thing from the programme due to rising costs and complications. We can hope! See www.stopthebypass.com for more info on the campaign.
Tunstall Northern Bypass
Stoke City Council are still ploughing ahead with the Tunstall Northern Bypass, despite a legal challenge. Campaigners have been given permission to appeal the High Court decision to reject their case that the planning permission had now lapsed after an illegal start. In the trade press it has been reported that work will start by the end of the month, despite the council still considering the validity of the planning permission, granted in 1997. The council are also claiming that there is no need for them to consider alternatives to road building. This should, in theory, ensure the government reject the scheme. The council would be foolish to start work with no guarantee of government funding.
Durham 'Relief' Road
Opposition is mounting to the proposed road that would trash countryside around this historic city. Residents in a Victorian terrace have just realised that one of the route options would wipe out the entire terrace. Recently released government guidance for the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) dash Durham County Council's hopes of grabbing some of the funding for their road scheme by tagging road user charging onto it. The guidance fortunately indicates it is not for new road building, but demand management, public transport and road pricing instead.
Kingskerswell Bypass (Devon)
The Devon County Council had a site visit, and will on 20 July will vote on whether to grant planning permission, pending the decision by ODPM on whether to 'call-in' the planning application.
A14 Upgrade (Cambridgeshire)
Traffic on one of the main arteries into already congested Cambridge could increase by 44 per cent because of the proposed A14 upgrade. The Highways Agency says 13,835 vehicles used the citys Huntingdon Road on an average day in 2003, but concedes the figure that could rise to 19,894 vehicles a day by 2025 if proposals to improve the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon are approved.
Local Transport Plan (LTP2) training days and guide
The Transport 2000 and Friends of the Earth campaigners guide to Local Transport Plans is now available on the web at http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/action_guides/ltp_action_guide.pdf and details of LTP2 consultations and draft versions can be viewed here - http://www.daveches.co.uk/ltp2.php
Two LTP training days have been arranged for transport campaigners:
Saturday 1 October, The Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London, from 11am to 5pm; registration from 10am.
Saturday 15 October, Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, from 11am to 5pm; registration from 10am.
If you would like to attend, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Influencing local transport in London
Transport 2000 have produced a briefing for London transport campaigners to influence their boroughs who are currently submitting their Local Implementation Plans (LIPs), which the Mayor will approve by December 2005. These plans are to show how each borough are implementing the Mayor's Transport Strategy. Please contact us for a copy of the briefing.
War against the climate
On the same day the G8 started, the Treasury announced that they would be postponing yet again the proposed fuel price increase in September. This is for the fourth year in a row, since the fuel protests in 2000, so that the price of motoring is now below 1980 levels, while public transport costs have soared. This is the so-called 'war against the motorist'. This political cowardice costs the economy an estimated £500 million a year. This time the decision was postponed until the November pre-budget report. In terms of cutting emissions, raising the price of fuel is one of the most effective ways to achieve this, according to the Environmental Audit Committee. With the levels of traffic growth predicted, technological improvements in fuel efficiency would be outstripped by growth in traffic.
On the same day, the DfT announced that it was abandoning well-developed plans for a Lorry Road User Charging scheme to the surprise of transport campaigners and the freight industry alike. The justification was that general road user charging is being developed, and it made no sense to have two systems.
Congestion charging in Cardiff?
The City Council are apparently considering a congestion charge at Cardiff, while the Welsh Assembly proposes to spend half its £8 billion transport budget on roadbuilding, including the controversial M4 round Newport - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4674319.stm
Don't forget to sign the e-petition to protest about the thoroughly unpleasant 'petrolhead' possibly receiving an honorary degree from Oxford Brookes University (see RB e-bulletin 17 June) at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/760722683 and see http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,14173,1514425,00.html
Car Nation Documentary
The last part of this three part documentary is at 9pm Sunday 17 July. This documentary explores Britain's relationship with cars, and includes footage and interviews from the protest against the Linslade Bypass earlier this year.
Power Up 2005
PowerUp is a new venture from the Rights and Justice Team at Friends of the Earth (FoE). It is a two day residential training event (5-7 August) helping community and environmental activists to understand better their rights to information, to participate in the planning system and their rights of access to justice (including judicial review). It will be hands on and will also provide an excellent opportunity to meet other activists and to spend some time with FoE's team of law and planning experts considering future potential cases. Contact FoE on 020 7490 1555 for more information.