Block is now a project of the Campaign for Better Transport. Visit
the website for up-to-date details. For more information, contact:
Lush Blum, Roads and Climate Campaigner
for Better Transport
020 7613 7721/07854 693067
will continue to send out the bi-monthly e-bulletin about anti-road
campaigns around the country. Sign up on the Campaign
for Better Transport website.
Block operated as an independent organisation from January 2005
to January 2007. An archive of the Road Block press
releases, e-bulletins and news
articles are still available from this site.
recommends the Thames Gateway Bridge scheme is scrapped!
26 July the Inspector for the Thames Gateway Bridge public inquiry
the scheme, but the government refused to accept this and ordered
a fresh inquiry, presumably until they get the answer they want!
The Inspector ruled that the scheme would increase carbon emissions
and encourage traffic growth and this was against government policy.
widening costs rise to over £5 billion!
to the government's Nichols
report, the M1 widening has risen from approved costs of £3.7
billion, to an estimated £5.1 billion. The minister has yet to approve
the costs. The widening is just 120 miles, making this £43 million
a mile! Transport 2000 pointed out that £5.1 billion is just over
the national annual rail budget, whilst The
Observer newspaper said that the £5.1bn project was bigger than
the annual economies of a third of the world's nations! Whilst the
government claims to want to tackle climate change it is spending
more than £5bn to take us in the opposite direction.
changes to the planning system proposed
government is proposing changes to the planning system that would
make it easier for them to build new roads (and airports and nuclear
power stations). A new campaign has been launched against the plans:
Disaster. Please sign the letter to Gordon Brown opposing the
plans. See the press
and Transport 2000 join forces
1 January 2007, Road Block became a project of Transport
2000, the national environmental transport body. Road Block
will continue as a network of local groups, and its coordinator,
Rebecca Lush, has become Transport 2000ís roads and climate campaigner.
the press release.
study recommends more roadbuilding for next ten years
The Eddington study on transport has given the green light to
the current road building programme but says a 2015 national road
pricing might reduce the economic case for roadbuilding by some
80 per cent. Read Road Block's view on the Eddington study here.
fuels climate change
Block has produced a postcard
for you to send to the transport minister to tell him to end roadbuilding
as it is fuelling traffic growth. Please download, print off, and
post back to Road Block and we will send the cards onto the minister.
Or post a
stamped addressed envelope to us telling us how many you would like.
statements on road building have been added to the site. See
20 July the government announced that it was not going to press
ahead with the deeply unpopular M6 Expressway - a new tolled 51-mile
parallel motorway from Birmingham to Manchester. Congratulations
to the brilliant GAME alliance
of groups who are now getting ready to defeat the alternative £2.9
billion widening scheme proposed instead. For further information
see the press release.
the 6 July regional funding announcements the government decided
that a number of roads it had previously approved would not get
funding in the next 10 years. Although they wouldn't do anything
as sensible as withdraw approval for them, it is very unlikely they
will go ahead.
Brunel Link/Harnham Relief Road (aka Salisbury Bypass) has finally
been defeated by brilliant community campaigning stretching over
decades. The River Nadder and the stunning watermeadows are now
safe. The A47 Acle Straight has been rejected by ministers
due to strong campaigning about its impact on the biodiversity of
the Broads National Park. Several roads in Cornwall have been dropped:
St Austell to A30 Link road, Camelford Bypass (both
of which had great community campaigns), A30 Carland Cross to
Chiverton Cross, and A30 Temple to Higher Carblake Improvement.
To see a list of 17 other dropped or rejected road schemes click
research shows how roadbuilding fails
report published on 6 July by CPRE and the government's Countryside
Agency examined the impacts of three big recently built road schemes,
including the Newbury Bypass. The researchers found that traffic
grew rapidly on both the new bypasses and the existing roads they
replaced, with the new roads generating additional road traffic.
Traffic forecasts for 2010 were being approached now, or had already
been exceeded. It also shows how roadbuilding increased development
pressures on undeveloped land nearby and caused significant damage
to landscapes. Despite the research the government is still pressing
on with a huge roads programme of over 200 approved schemes, and
is planning to spend over £1 billion this year alone on futile and
Agency road building budget doubles for 2006-7
the recently published Highways
Agency Business Plan it was revealed that their road building
budget had been increased from £589 million in 2005-6 to £1046
million in 2006-7 - almost doubling. They have stolen the money
from the Managing Traffic and Improving Technology budgets.
Action!! Object to the A628 Mottram-Tintwistle Bypass
are urgently needed to object to the A628 Mottram-Tintwistle bypass.
This damaging scheme is being pushed through by the Highway's Agency,
with a Public Inquiry expect to start in Autumn of this year. For
more information, visit the Save
Swallow's Wood website.
roads get go-ahead in middle of climate crisis
the government revealed that it was failing to meet its climate
change targets on 28 March, for roads campaigners it wasn't hard
to see the reasons why. During March 2006, the government gave the
go-ahead to THREE massive new road schemes. The
£175 million M6
Extension up to Scotland and the £65 million A419
Blunsdon Bypass all were given final approval. Meanwhile the
day after the climate announcements, the £209 million traffic generating
Mersey Crossing was
given the green-light. The government is creating the traffic and
CO2 increases it says it wants to stop.
Action!! Stop the Heysham M6 Link Road
are urgently needed to object to the Heysham M6 Link Road planning
application. Visit the Heysham
Link campaign's website for more information.
Roads costs go through roof - new data!
Using roads costs estimates supplied by DfT in December 2005,
Road Block has calculated that costs of Highways Agency trunk roads
have increased by a huge 67% since they were first approved. Government
funded local road schemes have risen at 45%. Download the latest
Bypass failed in five years
On the tenth anniversary of the start of the long protests
against the Newbury Bypass, traffic figures show the road has generated
50% more traffic, and rush hour congestion is worse than before
the road within five years of opening. The data was in a report
for West Berkshire council by WS Atkins called Movement
Framework for Newbury. See Road
Block press release and Friends
of the Earth press release. See also the Guardian
costs rise as trams funding slashed
As two tram schemes were pulled due to cost increases, research
by Road Block showed that the cost of the trunk road programme was
averaging a 53%
cost increase, whilst local roads were leaping up by an average
of 40%. See the Road
Block press release for full details.
Road Protest Camps Set Up 10.11.05
protest camps against roads have been set up. The newest (established
November 2005) is near Edinburgh, at the wildlife rich Dalkeith
Park and is against the Dalkeith Bypass. Tree sits have been set
up to prevent trees with bat roosts from being felled over winter.
See the Save Dalkeith
Park website for more information. The other camp was set up
by local residents on 23 September in Southend and is getting stronger
all the time. This camp is protecting an internationally important
Anglo Saxon king's burial mound. See the Save
Priory Park website. Both camps need support.
Road protesters Invade DfT - 16.08.05
residents against the Priory Park road scheme in Southend invaded
the Department for Transport on 16 August to call for the government
not to award additional funding for the scheme. See the press
release and the Guardian
They locked themselves together in the front lobby of
the DfT, but were later ejected by police, with no arrests. See
the gallery for a photo of the action
(attached) and film
Expressway, Stonehenge and Tyne Tunnel - 19-21.07.05
Parliament packed up, several major roads announcements were made.
Further work was ordered on the 50 mile long M6 Expressway, despite
the fact that 98% of the 9528 consultation respondents rejected
the scheme, and that it will trash the Staffordshire/Cheshire countryside.
The go-ahead was also given to the controversial Tyne tunnel - see
- even though the inquiry inspector said it would "substantially
increase the number of journeys taken by private car". They also
gave the go-ahead for a major new port near London, at Shell Haven,
conditional that there is loads more widening of the M25.
news however with Stonehenge, as the government backed down on building
a huge tunnel under the World Heritage Site. Because of the damage,
or that it would generate loads more traffic? No, because it would
cost a whopping £470 million see http://www.savestonehenge.org.uk.
pull down the fences around Priory Park 11.07.05
campaigners from the Parklife campaign have removed the fences that
Southend Borough Council erected a year ago around a nationally
significant Saxon king's burial site, at Priory Park. No arrests
were made. The road threatens the burial site, 113 trees and 3000m2
of open space. Campaigners claim this is one of the most expensive
stretches of local road, as costs for the 870 metre stretch of dual
carriageway have more than tripled, to reach a staggering £11.2m.
The government are set to make a decision about whether this road
goes ahead at any moment.
Bypass Planning Application halted 07.06.05
Kingskerswell Alliance, opposing the highly destructive Kingskerswell
Bypass in Devon, have persuaded the Government Office South West
(GOSW) to halt the planning application. The announcement came at
the eleventh hour the day before the County Council were due to
pass their application. The GOSW have issued an Article 14 direction
that halts the application while they investigate further claims
that the Environmental Statement is deficient. Congratulations to
the Kingskerswell Alliance.
London motorway will bring gridlock 23.05.05
transport academic, Professor Phil Goodwin, after analysing the
disputed Transport for London (TfL) figures for the Thames Gateway
Bridge, has concluded there will massive traffic increases on numerous
streets in east London, after construction. Some roads will see
a quadrupling and trebling of traffic by 2016.
Gateway Bridge campaign win postponement of public Inquiry 20.05.05
fantastic joint campaign against the new London motorway (aka Thames
Gateway Bridge) celebrated a significant victory as campaigners
demands for a postponement of the inquiry have been granted.
campaign in Glasgow launch legal challenge of decision to go ahead
with motorway 20.05.05
of the Earth Scotland and JAM74 have launched a legal challenge
against the outrageous decision of the Scottish Executive to overturn
the complete rejection by the Public Inquiry Inspector of the £500m
M74 in east Glasgow. The Scottish Executive arrogantly didn't even
give adequate reasons for their dismissal of his findings.