Alliance against road building

Road Block e-bulletin * 30 September 2005

Further info on opposing roads can be found at The next e-bulletin deadline is 12 October; please send us your campaign news.


Further info on opposing roads can be found at   If you support our work, please consider setting up a small standing order at .  The next e-bulletin deadline is 12 October; please send us your campaign news.




(1) Campaign updates - Priory Crescent, Southend (Essex); Weymouth Relief Road (Dorset); Norwich Northern Distributor Road (Norfolk); Titnore Lane (East Sussex); Mottram-Tintwistle bypass (Peak District); A27 Arundel Bypass (East Sussex); New M1 widening campaign; Bristol roads; Bournemouth Airport Access Road (Dorset); Lancaster Northern Bypass; Kingskerswell Bypass (Devon); M74 (Glasgow); Tunstall Northern Bypass (Stoke); Dalkeith Bypass (Edinburgh)

(2) Transport news - Darling gives go-ahead to traffic growth; Begg sees bigger picture; Eddington wants more roads; Jeremy Clarkson; What can Road Block do for me?

(3) Take Action - Urgent - Weymouth Relief Road Planning Application; Pre-budget report lobbying


(4) Events -

8 Oct - Roads and Runways gathering

10 Oct - Road User Charging Seminar

14 Oct - Demo outside the PDNPA HQ in Bakewell.
15 Oct - Local Transport Plan training day, Manchester
11 Oct - The End of Oil conference

23 Oct - Freedom to protest conference

3 Dec - International Demo against Climate Change





A127/A1159 Priory Crescent, Southend (Essex)

Southend based road campaigners Parklife started a long term tree sit and camp on 23 September at the recently discovered East Saxon king's burial site in the very heart of town.  They want to oppose, and ultimately to stop the controversial F5 road scheme, planned for the A127/A1159 Priory Crescent, Southend on Sea, Essex.  The objective is to influence the Department for Transport to reject funding the significant cash shortfall of £7.74m for the road, and ultimately to stop the destruction that it will bring to the town.  'Camp Bling' - named after the recently discovered 'Prince of Prittlewell,' or 'King of Bling' - is located above the site of the burial, and strategically in the middle of the route of the proposed road and railway bridge, next to the Liverpool Street railway line.  This scheme would not only trash the Anglo Saxon King's burial mound, but also part of Priory Park, and 113 trees.  Residents have collected over 20,000 signatures against the road.  Campaigners would welcome visitors, and support, especially financial.  Call


Weymouth Relief Road (Dorset) - URGENT


A planning application was submitted on 23 September.  Letters are urgently needed before 14 October.  Go to the Take Action page of our website at for a standard letter you can email directly to Dorset County Council.  This scheme is one of the most destructive in the LTP programme.  It would cross through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB - the top landscape designation in Britain), and would devastate the settings of numerous iron age barrows.  It would also cut across an ancient woodland owned by the Woodland Trust, who are opposing the scheme, with Dorset CPRE.  On Sunday 2 October, Derek Fawell will lead a walk along the 2 mile southern half of the proposed route. Meet at 10.30am at Greenway Road, Weymouth.  Contact: Derek on or


Norwich Northern Distributor Road (Norfolk)

Congratulations are due to the No N25 campaign, as Norfolk CC have accepted at a council meeting on 19 Sept, that there will be no NDR across or around the Wensum Valley.  The road will be proposed to stop at Taverham and go no further.  The most environmentally damaging 25% of the road is defeated.  There will be no single carriageway outer route because the Council believes it would not have a sufficient impact on traffic anyway, and because the environmental bodies still object to it because of its crossing of the River Tud.  A banner was dropped during the council meeting highlighting the lack of public consultation. The remaining three-quarters road looks increasingly more unlikely, and the No N25 campaign are working locally to make sure it is dropped for good with a public meeting on 7 October. 

Read all about it at

Titnore Lane (East Sussex)

On Saturday, 29 October at 2pm, the newly formed 'Titnore Emergency Action' is to hold a protest at the southern end of Titnore Lane that is likely to form the start of an occupation of the Titnore lane site.  It is intended that any Titnore Lane occupation will be the base camp supporting actions all along the A27.  Titnore Lane is a winding old English lane between the A27 and A259, with it's overhanging canopy provided by mature oak trees and believed to have once been a droveway with origins in pre-history.  Soon all that history, charm and much biodiversity will be lost if the road builders get their way. Proposed is a horrible scheme to widen, straighten, chop hundreds of mature trees etc and build a roundabout for an access road.  All to provide a means for traffic to reach the already over-trafficked A27 from a massive new housing estate. An added concern is the threat to the designation of the South Downs National Park if this scheme goes ahead.  During the 90's determination prevented the so-called 'South Coast Super Highway'. However over the years since then, the siren voices are back, calling again for that Super Highway along the coast.

See  and for further info.

Mottram-Tintwistle bypass (Peak District)

CPRE have commissioned an independent report into the potential for a lorry ban on the A628. The report, developed by independent transport professional Metropolitan Transport Research Unit (MTRU), concludes that the lorry ban is worthy of further study. Unfortunately the PDNPA do not seem interested in taking this course of action, so we need to pile the pressure on and remind them that their support for the loss of habitat, traffic increases, increased pollution that is an inevitable consequence of their support for the bypass is inconsistent with their statutory duty - "to protect and conserve the National Park". Please write to them and make your views heard. More information plus details of what to write and who to send the letter to are provided on the Take Action pages of the Road Block website. See
14 October, 9am - Demo outside the PDNPA HQ in Bakewell. See for more details.
For more information on the Save Swallow's Wood campaign against the A628 and to sign the online petition, please visit

A27 Arundel Bypass (East Sussex)

Surveyors have been seen out in force plotting a new route for a road around the Arundel Bypass and in the National Trust woodland near to the bottleneck at Fontwell. But that's not all. Work is now well under way on the existing Chichester Bypass (ring-road) to erect flyovers, over the roundabouts.

No M1 widening

The No Widening M1 Campaign had it's launch in Sheffield on the 22 September, with a good reception from the public and the local press.  Leaflets and posters are available to distribute and a postcard campaign to MPs is being started.  Please contact   if you would like these resources, and see for further info.   The proposed widening, from Luton to Leeds, would cost a whopping £3 billion, just to fill up again with traffic.  Some of the widening is very controversial, including the stretch through the Tinsley community in Sheffield, which already suffers illegal pollution levels. 


Bristol roads

Greater Bristol Strategic Transport study, undertaken by W.S.Atkins for four local authorities, announced its findings and started a public consultation period on 23 September.  Surprisingly a lot of the proposals are public transport improvements and 'soft measures' to reduce car use. However, the sting in the tail are the completion of the south Bristol Ring Road which is likely to be mostly urban dual carriageway, but starting in open countryside, and a new connecting link between the A370 and the M5 which skirts around Nailsea. Both roads are likely to result in opposition from residents and environmental groups, particularly the link road because it appears to run through the Tyntesfield Estate, the house and estate of the late Lord Wraxall newly acquired and opened by the National Trust, which is their local 'jewel in the crown'.

Bournemouth Airport Access Road (Dorset)

Predictably, within the South East Dorset LTP2 the Bournemouth Airport expansion is key to a major road scheme. There is a proposal for a new airport access road from the B3073 to A338, it will be impossible for this to be constructed without passing through floodplains and SSSI, although sadly English Nature is looking for an 'acceptable' route. East Dorset Friends of the Earth have already opposed this and will continue to do so.

Lancaster Northern Bypass

Looks like the Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe (TSLM) group had a fun day out walking the proposed route on 4 September, judging by the beautiful and dramatic photos on their website: .  Walking the route is a great way to get new people involved, to get good media coverage, and to increase attachment to the land you are fighting for.

Kingskerswell Bypass (Devon)

Unfortunately, a grant of Conditional Planning Permission for this scheme was issued on 26th August 2005, after GOSW failed to 'call in' the planning application for public inquiry.  Meanwhile, a parish council member of the Kingskerswell Alliance who was elected on an anti bypass ticket, has just been advised by the Standards Board for England that he failed to declare a prejudicial interest at a meeting back in February 2005. The meeting considered mitigation measures for the controversial scheme, after the Parish Council had been consulted for its views. Cllr. Bright put forward a proposal, not opposing the road, but simply seeking improved environmental measures, but was reported by 6 pro-bypass councillors.  Cllr. Bright did declare an interest at the meeting, but felt it was not prejudicial as he was not actually opposing the bypass. He will now have to appear before a local Standards Monitoring Committee because his property lies within 100m of the proposed new road.   However the good news is that the Standards Board ruled that whilst he did break the rules, his actions were considered to be for the benefit of the local community.  The hearing date is yet to be fixed.

M74 (Glasgow)

The campaign have launched an important legal challenge on the Scottish Executive's decision to overturn the inquiry Inspector, and desperately need funds (see RB bulletin 17 June). 

Tunstall Northern Bypass (Stoke)

Surveyors have been on site, so it looks like they`will again try to start work before the High Court Hearing, which they've done twice in the past. The appeal against the granting of Compulsory Purchase Orders and the legality of the Planning Permission is to be heard on 9 / 10 November in the High Court, London.  Support welcome.  Campaigners are also considering a simultaneous Judicial Review. 

See for this scheme which threatens Scotia Valley.

Dalkeith Bypass (Edinburgh)

Over 250 people turned up for a public meeting against this road scheme on 27 Sept. See


Alistair Darling gives go-ahead to traffic growth

In an interview with new magazine, Transport Times, Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Transport, has indicated that he had abandoned John Prescott's previous pledges to tackle traffic growth. 


David Begg sees the bigger picture

Former Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT) Chair, Professor David Begg, has said in an article in Transport Times "Let me hold my hand up and plead guilty to not having my eye on this ball in the six years I chaired the Commission for Integrated Transport... I wanted to change travel behaviour mainly to tackle congestion. Don't get me wrong. I'm still as passionate about road pricing. But I was negligent when it came to climate change....The danger is that this agenda gets dumped in the "all too difficult politically" pile. I'm on the side of those who are worried and alarmed. The stakes don't come any higher than saving the planet".  Another one to add to the pile of people coming to the recognition that climate change is the single most important issue of our time?  See for the full interview.

Rod Eddington indicates more roads

In his first interview (in Transport Times) since becoming the transport czar, Rod Eddington, tasked by Blair and Brown to review UK transport policy and come up with a long-term strategy, indicated that he saw the future in more infrastructure.  Despite recognising that Britain has the fourth largest economy in the world, with a low rate of investment in big infrastructure, he thinks we desperately need more concrete.  We think someone needs to alert him to climate change...

New guidance on the preparation of Final Local Transport Plans

This new guidance has just been released, which outlines what happens before local authorities have to submit their final versions in March 2006.  It's just 3 pages long, and there is no mention of Major (road) Schemes.  . Consultations on the provisional LTPs are happening now.  See for a list

Jeremy Clarkson

Since the 'cake incident' at Clarkson's honorary degree ceremony (see,,176-1785097,00.html), the Conservative led County Council (who have pledged to 'end Labour's war against the motorist') have passed a motion backing Clarkson, offering him a free parking space in the city, and inviting him to lunch.  Clarkson has turned down their invitation, much to the ridicule of the local media.

What can Road Block do for me?

For those campaigning against road schemes, we can offer you the following help:

* Numerous Briefing Papers on our website, from campaign tactics to understanding cost benefit analysis!

* Referral to expert help - on planning issues, traffic modelling, ecology, freedom of information, legal challenges

* Small amounts of funding, especially on campaigning expenses, like leaflets and banners, and demonstrations

* Publicity for your activities

* Support, advice and encouragement - call anytime!


Urgent - Weymouth Relief Road Planning Application

Please send in letters objecting to the Planning Application by 14 October 2005.  This is one of the most destructive schemes in the roads programme.  Objection letters now could help ensure there is a Public Inquiry.  Go to the Take Action page of the Road Block website for a standard letter you can cut and paste at

Pre-budget report lobbying - Transport and Climate Change

A quick easy bit of lobbying in time for the important pre-budget report in November, has been made possible by Friends of the Earth. 

Click here - -  for a standard letter to Gordon Brown outlining three measures he can introduce now to tackle climate change: 

. Raising Air Passenger Duty to stop the runaway growth in aviation emissions
. Reform car tax to give a real incentive to buy fuel efficient cars
. Increase fuel duty and invest in public transport



Local Transport Plan training day, Manchester on 15 Oct


This is for activists to compare their local authority's draft 5 year LTPs, and share campaign strategies. 


Roads and Runways gathering - 8 Oct

Gathering to plan action against expansion of aviation and the roads programme, in Nottingham, from 10am.  Early booking essential: email or phone .  And see

Road User Charging Seminar - 10 Oct

This seminar will look at how to take the debate forward in the light of the government's decision to pilot local schemes ahead of a national scheme.  Central London on 10 October from 1.30pm to 5pm.  Email   for details.

The End of Oil conference - 11 Oct

A major conference examining the peak oil problem and its impact on climate change, the world's food supply & the world economy. Speakers include Michael Meacher MP, Tim Lang and Andrew Simms (of NEF), chaired by Dr Ian Gibson MP. The conference is organised by East Anglia Food Link, CRed and 


Or book by calling CRED on 01603 592 838

14 October, 9am - Demo outside the PDNPA HQ in Bakewell. See for more details.

Freedom to protest conference - 23 Oct.  See

International Demonstrations on Climate Change - 3 Dec

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