Alliance against road building

Road Block e-bulletin * 12th August 2005

Deadline for next e-bulletin is 25 August. If you value our work, please consider setting up a small standing order (suggested £2 a month) to support us. Details of how to contribute are on our website.


(1) URGENT - schemes going for approval

(2) Campaign updates – Brownhills Eastern Bypass (Walsall); Lancaster Northern Bypass; Tunstall Northern Bypass (Stoke); A127/A1159 Priory Crescent, Southend (Essex); M1 widening (Sheffield); Second Tyne tunnel (Tyne and Wear); Norwich Northern Distributor Road (Norfolk); Shinfield Relief Road (Berkshire); Thames Gateway Bridge (London);

Colchester Avenue of Remembrance (Essex); Linslade Western Bypass (Buckinghamshire); Third Thames Bridge (Reading)

(3) Transport news – New Road Block briefings on lies about motoring, and roads and climate change; New roads in the 5 year Local Transport Plans; IPPR on road user charging; Motorists are trying to cut car use; Jeremy Clarkson; Heathrow expansion rally and night flights consultation

(4) Take Action - Brunel Link / Harnham Relief Road (Salisbury) - letters urgently needed

(5) Events - Local Transport Plan training day; International Demo against Climate Change - 3 Dec; Art not Oil exhibition;


(1) URGENT - Schemes that could be approved by government very soon

(please see below for campaign info, and past e-bulletins)

If you know anything about the schemes marked with a *, especially if there are concerns about them, please contact us immediately.


Brownhills Eastern Bypass (Walsall)

Walsall council have put a bid into government for provisional approval and funding for this vigorously opposed road which will trash Green Belt land and the peaceful setting of Stonnall village. This is despite the fact that Litchfield council and Staffordshire County Council have said they will refuse planning permission to grab the Green Belt. Local campaigners - SCAR - have said they will fight this every step of the way - see

Lancaster Northern Bypass

A bid has also gone in for provisional approval for this nightmare scheme, which is opposed by the fantastic Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe (TSLM) campaign. The road would not solve the traffic problems in the area, would split the community of Torrisholme in two, would take 70 hectares of green fields, and bring traffic to within 200m of 1,074 homes. See

Tunstall Northern Bypass (Stoke)

Whilst DfT state this scheme is still only provisionally approved until the court case is resolved, Stoke council and Government Office West Midlands (GOWM) claim it is fully approved, and therefore they don't need to update the 18 month old appraisal for the road. All smells a bit fishy... Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal hearing has now been listed for one day on either 9 or 10 November 2005, at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, London. It would be great if people could come along to support this long running campaign. The court case continues the challenge that the Secretary of State needs to consider if a scheme has valid planning permission before passing Compulsory Purchase Orders.

A127/A1159 Priory Crescent, Southend (Essex)

Southend council have gone back to the government to beg for more funding for this white elephant scheme. Since it was first approved in 2000, costs have more than tripled from £3.5 million to £11.24 million. The road will destroy an Anglo Saxon King's burial mound, part of Priory Park, and 113 trees. The road is very unpopular locally and approval should be withdrawn immediately. Local campaigners have pledged direct action should it go ahead. See

M1 widening at Sheffield

Sheffield Campaign Against the Widening of the M1 are having their first meeting Tuesday 16 August, 7.30pm at MATILDA, Matilda Street, Sheffield. All welcome. Widening the M1 at Sheffield will bring yet more traffic noise, pollution and misery to the already suffering residents of Tinsley who have the motorway running alongside their community. Anyone opposing widening of the M1 in other areas of the country, please get in touch.

Second Tyne Tunnel (Tyne and Wear)

Closer analysis of the Government’s decision to back a second road tunnel under the Tyne, at Jarrow, and the Inspector's conclusions reveal very worrying trends (see RB bulletin 29 July). Despite the Inspector concluding that the road tunnel "rests most uneasily with government's overarching transport policy objectives" and that it would "promote increased car use... do little to guarantee more sustainable travel options or promote integrated land use and transportation... or support more sustainable communities" he still accepted that there was no realistic chance of government policies leading to people getting out of their cars. He also argued that as well as the road being in the local and regional plans, the local employment needs "outweigh the wider transport objectives". Alistair Darling (transport minister) swallowed all that and gave the go-ahead, demonstrating the government's very thin commitment to sustainable transport, putting bogus economic 'benefits' before the environment. This is very worrying for campaigners against the Thames Gateway Bridge in London. More info at

Norwich Northern Distributor Road

Norfolk County Council is continuing its efforts to persuade the likes of English Nature, English Heritage, the East of England Regional Assembly and the Govt. Office for the East of England to go along with its plans for a road. To this end it organised a second coach tour of possible routes, this time to the East of the city. However, this time objectors were ready. A 120 strong protest successfully blocked the road and stopped the coach at the village of Rackheath. NCC's guests should, we hope, now have a somewhat clearer impression of how local people feel about it.

Shinfield Relief Road (Berkshire)

This private developer road (proposed by the University of Reading, who seem to have a side line in property development!), has been unanimously turned down by the council. The plucky residents of Shinfield have already shown the council what happens when roadbuilding is attempted in this village (see RB bulletin 25 Feb) by standing in front of tree choppers. Congratulations to the Shinfield Residents Action Group. See

Thames Gateway Bridge (London)

Phase 1 of the public inquiry has now ended with Phase 2 starting on 13 September, when Objectors will be giving evidence. See

Colchester Avenue of Remembrance (Essex)

In Colchester, Essex County Council is set to make major announcements in September with regard to the Avenue of Remembrance. Part of the road (with trees planted in memory of WWI soldiers) may be ripped out for an express bus lane for Park and Ride, while the rest looks set to be dualled to cope with increasing traffic. Pedestrian crossings near the station and university may disappear to "aid traffic flow"; we are promised a "radical replacement" but no details yet.

Linslade Western Bypass (Buckinghamshire)

Already there are planning applications in to extract gravel from green fields alongside the bypass, which started construction in January amidst local protests. See . Buckinghamshire County Council are also planning lots more road building, including the controversial Wing Bypass.

Third Thames Bridge (Reading)

Reading Green Party have set up a pledge against another road bridge in Reading. See


Exciting new Road Block briefings!

RB have produced 2 new briefing sheets. One is on all the myths and facts around motoring. The other is on roads and climate change, using all the latest data and research. Three more are in the process of being produced: on public inquiries, on planning processes, and the new guidance for provisionally approved local roads.

Roads in the 5 year Local Transport Plans (LTP2)

Road Block have almost completed research on how many roads have gone into the 85 local authority 5 year plans (LTPs). The results will be published very soon on the website, and in the next e-bulletin. Some progressive local authorities pride themselves on having no roads in their LTP, while others have produced concrete wish lists.

IPPR and road user charging

The IPPR established Commission on Sustainable Development in the South East, published their final report. Included in it were recommendations that any road user charging scheme must be used to raise money to pay for better public transport. Any charging scheme that kept motorists taxation at the same level (as the motorists lobby are demanding) would actually increase traffic and CO2 emissions more than doing nothing at all, according to research by Imperial College for the IPPR, by spreading the traffic onto rural roads, and throughout the day.

Motorists are trying to cut car use

Research by the Scottish Executive shows that about half of motorists are trying to use their cars less. See Public perceptions of travel awareness - phase three at

Jeremy Clarkson

Don't forget to sign the petition to oppose the anti-social, anti environmental 'petrol-head' receiving an honorary degree from Oxford Brookes University -


There will be an anti-Heathrow expansion rally at Central Halls, Westminster, on 24 October at 6.30-9pm. Contact 020 7737 6641. Also, the government is currently consulting about extending night flights at Heathrow, Stanstead and Gatwick. Residents in these areas already have to put up with horrific noise levels and pollution. Please let the government know what you think by going to:


Brunel Link / Harnham Relief Road (Salisbury)

Salisbury District Council are reviewing the road. At the moment they are saying they will have a "holding objection" to the road, alongside English Nature, Environment Agency and Countryside Agency. It would be helpful if people could write in opposing the road, before 31 August, to Sara Draper, SDC, The Council House, Bourne Hill, Salisbury SP1 3UZ, or emailed to . Please see or for more info on the campaign.


Local Transport Plan training days

These days are for activists to compare their local authority's draft 5 year LTPs, and share campaign strategies.

LONDON - 1 October, see

MANCHESTER - 15 October, see or email

International Demonstrations on Climate Change - 3 Dec

Demonstrations will be happening all over the world on 3rd December for action on climate change. There will be a large demo in London whilst the UN climate talks are happening in Montreal. See

ART NOT OIL exhibition

This will take place from August 5-28 at Oxford House, Derbyshire St., London E2 6HG. Nearest tube Bethnal Green tube. See and or email