Alliance against road building

Road Block e-bulletin * 17th June 2005

Road Block has moved, and the new telephone number is . Please bear with us while we set up the new office. The front page of our website has also been revamped with all the latest news there - see . Please send us your news for the website, and for the e-bulletins. We love to hear from you! To support campaigns, please see the Take Action part of the website.

The Road Block conference on 4 June was a great success, with campaigners from all over the UK coming to share their expertise and experience. So many active groups, all creating major impacts in their local area, gathering in one place showed how powerful it is when we all work together, and form a national alliance. This hasn't happened since 1996. A big 'thank you' to all who came, and to Birmingham FoE for all their help in organising.

If anyone accidentally picked up any documents belonging to Road Block, particularly the 'Road Raging' book or the Weymouth Relief Road documents, could they please return them, as they are our only copies.


(1) Campaign updates – Kingskerswell Bypass (Devon); Thames Gateway Bridge (London); Scotland (M74, Forth Bridge); Shrewsbury (Shropshire)

(2) Transport news – Road Block briefings on web; LTP briefing for County Councillors; FOE and T2000 LTP campaigning guide; Jeremy Clarkson; Online roads exhibition; Road User Charging; Rod Eddington

(3) G8, Climate Change and Transport – Friends of the Earth G8 activities; G8 cyclists at Linslade (Bucks)



Kingskerwell Bypass (Devon)

The Kingskerswell Alliance, opposing the highly destructive Kingskerswell Bypass in Devon, have persuaded the Government Office South West (GOSW) to halt the council granting themselves planning permission. The announcement came at the eleventh hour, the day before Devon County Council were due to pass their application. The GOSW have issued an Article 14 direction while they investigate further claims that the Environmental Statement is deficient. Congratulations to the Kingskerswell Alliance.

Thames Gateway Bridge (London)

The Thames Gateway Bridge (London) Public Inquiry opened on 7 June, with a demonstration of 40 people including the recently elected Tory MP David Evennett. The venue staff bizarrely tried to bar local people, despite it being a public inquiry, and forcibly ejected two people. Meanwhile, other objectors and supporters of the bridge were allowed in. The Inspector came outside to the demonstrators and publicly apologised. Transport for London (TfL) and other supports are presently giving evidence. The inquiry will then adjourn until 13th September, when objectors will be heard. See for the local campaign website.

M74 (Glasgow)

The Scottish Executive have admitted that the legal challenge by JAM74 ad Friends of the Earth Scotland could delay the scheme by over a year. Campaigners are challenging the right of the Executive to over turn the decision of the inquiry inspector to reject the motorway which will go through east Glasgow (see e-bulletin 20 May). For information on the campaign see

Third Road Bridge to be built over the Firth of Forth


The Scottish Executive gave the go-ahead on 16 June for a third road bridge over the Firth of Forth at a cost of between £100 million and £120 million. According to Chris Balance of the Scottish Green Party the completion of the Kincardine-Dunfermline rail link should have been a greater priority. This is yet another example of the executive carrying on the Tory road-building project that has resulted in the rising traffic levels and gridlock that we now have in Scotland."

Shrewsbury North West Relief Road


Shropshire County Council is planning the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road (costing £50 million) through superb landscape including Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and the old bed of the River Severn, formed 10,000 years ago. It is still at consultation stage ending 20 June, but worryingly a protected route has been incorporated into the Shrewsbury and Atcham Local Plan. Non road options have previously reduced congestion in the town centre according to the councils own research by up to 7% - far more successful than a road would be! The No Way! Group against the Shrewsbury North West Relief are asking people to take five minutes to fill in the online questionnaire by 20 June at and for details of the campaign see


Road Block briefings available on website

The guide to ensuring your local council considers alternatives to road building (appraisal briefing) is now up on the Road Block website in the Campaign Resources page at . We have also produced briefings for campaigners on direct action and stunts, campaigning tactics, victories and a guide to Cost-Benefit Analysis (COBA).

Briefing for County Councillors

Road Block have produced a briefing on government requirements to look at alternatives to roads, for campaigners to give to their County Councillors before they vote for roads in their LTP. This is free for all campaigns to use, amend, and put their campaign logo on. Please contact us for a copy.

LTP campaigning guide

A comprehensive guide to influencing your 5 year Local Transport Plan (LTP) by Transport 2000 and Friends of the Earth will be available in the next few days at

Stop Jeremy Clarkson getting an honorary degree

Oxford Brookes University is awarding an honorary degree to Jeremy Clarkson in the autumn in recognition of his contribution to learning and society. The students and staff at the university have a petition against Clarkson receiving the award. You can sign up on . Clarkson has said "engineering is more important than environmentalism which has given the world nothing".

Landscapes under Threat online exhibition

An online exhibition of landscapes under threat of roadbuilding is on the Road Block website at . This exhibition is timed to coincide with the show ‘A Picture of Britain' at the Tate Britain gallery in London. It illustrates the way that our countryside is being sacrificed for a short-term attempt to save a few minutes off car journeys!

Road User Charging

Road Block responded to the debate on road user charging launched by Alistair Darling on 5 June by stating that road user charging should only be implemented to cut traffic and stop road building. See

Concrete Rod wants more roads and runways

The transport czar, Rod Eddington, has called for more roads, runways and railways. We wonder which of these will get the funding... Rod Eddington is the outgoing chief of British Airways, so obviously a keen eco-warrior, and has recently been ennobled. He has been asked by Darling and Brown to review transport strategy, and he will report to them in Spring 2006.


Friends of the Earth activities at the G8


Find out below about some of Friends of the Earth's key activities around the G8 summit and how you can help. For further information and to sign up for regular G8 email updates go to


Saturday 2 July - Make Poverty History

Friends of the Earth is a member of the Make Poverty History coalition which is organising a giant rally in Edinburgh on 2 July to demand trade justice, debt cancellation, and more and better aid for the world's poorest countries. The day's events will start at 11am in the Meadow.


What you can do: Meet Friends of the Earth supporters and other environment groups at the giant carbon dinosaur in the meadows and march with us under a climate justice banner.


Tuesday 5 July 'Global Warming 8' conference


FoE is jointly organising a climate justice conference at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, on 5 July. Eight participants, primarily from developing countries, will speak on climate change and development. Representatives of countries affected by climate change, including FoE groups from Columbia, Nigeria and Nepal, will highlight the impacts they face.


What you can do: Come along to this free event. Reserve your ticket from Hannah Reid on or - website


Thursday 7 July (13:45pm) Friends of the Earth Climate Alarm


At 13:45pm on Thursday 7 July people across Scotland, and the world, will sound warning bells to wake the G8 leaders up to the fact that time is running out to tackle climate injustice. 13:45 is symbolic because the G8 nations represent just 13% of the world's people, but account for 45% of global climate-changing gases emissions.


What you can do: Visit and add your message of support.

Cyclists show support to the Stop Linslade Bypass Campaign


A group of 60 cyclists will be making their way from London to the G8 in Edinburgh. They will be stopping at Linslade to show their support for the Campaign against the Linslade Western Bypass. See