Alliance against road building
Alliance against road building
General info on Road Block can be found at www.roadblock.org.uk. Even though this is a long bulletin, please read through it, as there is loads of great stuff going on, and it has been a very exciting fortnight! For those wishing to take action, and write letters of objection to various schemes, please refer to the Take Action part of our website. For campaigns that need planning advice, please contact us.
(2) Campaign updates – Thames Gateway Bridge (London), Scotland (M74, Glasgow, 2nd Forth Road Crossing), Tunstall Northern Bypass (Staffordshire), Norwich Northern Distributor Road, Lancaster Northern Bypass, Kingskerswell Bypass (Devon), Linslade Bypass (Bucks), Brownhills Eastern Bypass (Walsall)
(3) Transport news – List of all Government policies
saying 'no roads', Highways Agency argues against roads!, Top Gear loses the
plot, Rail closures - act now, Website for LTP consultations, Durham Northern
Bypass, Joint Beds/Bucks Local Transport Plan meeting, Regional Transport
(1) National anti-roads conference - 4th June, Birmingham
This is your last chance to book for the national anti-roads conference on 4th June... This is the first anti-roads conference since 1996, and will be a unique chance for all those opposing roads schemes to meet, share information, and gain inspiration to win. The conference starts at 10.30am, and ends at 5pm. Contact Road Block on or email .
Professor Phil Goodwin, the renowned transport academic has analysed (TfL's) traffic figures for the scheme, and has discovered, surprise surprise, that the motorway will bring massive traffic increases on the surrounding roads - sometimes a four or three fold increase.
Friends 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.
To add insult to injury, the Scottish Executive are also proposing to do away with public inquiries into the need for big infrastructure projects that are of 'national strategic significance'. As if things aren't undemocratic enough! The government tried to do the same thing in England in 2001, but failed.
The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA - sounds cheesy to us! Ed) has voted to back a second road crossing of the river Forth ignoring the advice of their own officers. Dr Dan Barlow, Friends of the Earth Scotland's head of research, said: "A new road bridge is the last thing that is needed if Scotland is serious about tackling congestion and cutting climate pollution".
Tunstall Northern Bypass (Staffordshire)
Midlands protester Ian Norris faces huge costs after his High Court bid to stop the building of the Tunstall Northern Bypass, Stoke-on-Trent, was rejected. One of the country's most senior judges refused to overturn a compulsory purchase order. Lawyers for Mr Norris argued John Prescott had taken into account "irrelevant considerations" when granting the order. Mr Norris is planning an appeal, but the Council are already preparing their bid for funding.
Norwich Northern Distributor road - Lib Dem councillor 'comes out'
The Norwich No N25 Campaign has known for some time that a substantial number of the local Lib-Dems are unhappy with their party's support for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. But now one has spoken up publicly. Just before the General Election Norwich City Councillor Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne (Lib-Dem, Wensum) came out and declared his opposition to the road and his party's policy. The No N25 Campaign (www.norwichn25.org) congratulates Cllr. Aalders-Dunthorne on his willingness to put reason ahead of party politics and hopes that he will encourage others in his party to join him in voting against the road in the City Council in the future. A decision from the City to oppose the road would be a major contribution to resisting the County Council's plans. The City Council's current support for the road is on the condition that it "is used as a mechanism for improving alternatives to the car" (!)
Lancaster Northern Bypass - council lies!
A freedom of information request by the Green Party has revealed much lower public support for a Lancaster northern bypass than Lancashire County Council usually cares to admit. A council survey found 16 per cent strongly supported the scheme, while 28 per cent tended to support the road. The council had written to local businesses in March, saying the bypass was supported by 94 per cent, a figure it later corrected to 79 per cent. Will there be another correction now the council has been sussed?
Anti-bypass Parish Councillor Paul Bright, has been reported to the Standards Committee for his opposition to the road, in a clear dirty tricks campaign. The Planning Application is being heard on 8 June.
Linslade Bypass protesters acquitted
Rebecca Lush and Victoria Harvey, arrested for stopping work on the Linslade Bypass, were acquitted at Aylesbury Magistrates Court, when the case was thrown out on a technicality. The pair were disappointed they did not get the chance to argue Buckinghamshire County Council had broken protected species legislation, and are considering taking their complaint to the European Commission. See press release at http://roadblock.org.uk/press_releases/2005-05-16.htm.
Brownhills Eastern Bypass (Walsall)
Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council's plan for the Brownhills Eastern Bypass, which would gobble up a chunk of the Staffordshire green belt, is being opposed by the recently formed Stonnall Campaign Against the Roads. 200 people attended the last campaign meeting. More information at: www.stoptheroads.co.uk
Need the arguments against road building?
A Transport 2000 campaigner has produced the most incredibly useful checklist of key government roads policies to use when responding to proposed road scheme. Contact Road Block for a copy.
Highways Agency argues against road building!
After the Highways Agency (HA) delivered a blow to the East of England plan, concluding that road building in the region could never keep up with traffic growth, and that road user charging should be considered instead, their response to the South East plan is equally as damning. They have said that the plan must not 'just develop into a wish list of major infrastructure projects'. They also argue that 'it is important that an alternative approach to just building more roads or adding capacity to existing ones is also considered', and 'sustainable principles aimed at reducing the need to travel and the active management of demand for private car use and thus minimise the need for new infrastructure'. They finish by arguing for ' measures such as tighter parking standards, cordon charges and/or work place charging at the sub-regional level if.... the need for substantial new road building avoided'.
Top Gear really lose the plot
Police were called to Hammersmith bus station on Wednesday evening as Jeremy Clarkson and cohorts had chained themselves to a bus in 'retaliation' for Greenpeace activists halting production of polluting urban 4x4's earlier in the week. It is unclear what their point was, aside from to leave many people without a bus service. Transport for London is attempting to stop the broadcast of this yobbish act on Sunday's scheduled show. If the BBC goes ahead and broadcast, TfL is considering its legal options.
Rail closures - act now!
A great website with info on Local Transport Plan (LTP) consultations is at http://www.daveches.co.uk/ltp2.php. Please make sure that your local authority is not submitting a 'wish-list' of road schemes (most are!).
If you want to get involved with transport campaigning in your (English) region, there is a regional network of groups already set up called Transport Activists Roundtable (TAR for short).
North West TAR:
North East TAR:
Yorkshire and Humber TAR:
West Midlands TAR:
East Midlands TAR:
East of England TAR:
South East TAR:
South West TAR: