Alliance against road building

Road Block e-bulletin * 26 June 2006

If you do one thing as a result of this e-bulletin, please donate to the M74 Emergency Legal Defence Fund for their case on 27 June. Friends of the Earth Scotland had 7 days to raise £25,000 to bring a very important legal case challenging the right of the Scottish Executive to overturn an independent inquiry inspector who had rejected the £500 million M74 in Glasgow.


Please see article below or go straight to to donate.

If any weblinks don't work, simply cut and paste them into your address bar. To get any info on campaigns, please type the campaign or road name into the search engine on the front page of the Road Block website -

Next e-bulletin deadline is 25 July, so please send us your campaign news before then.




(1) Transport and climate news

BIG decisions imminent on new roads and the Regional Funding Allocations

Government doesn’t know the carbon impact of roads programme

Did the Newbury Bypass work?

East of England Regional Transport Strategy puts climate at its heart

Reducing speed to reduce CO2

Road Block national conference

Stop Climate Chaos

Jeremy Clarkson v bus drivers


(2) Campaign updates

M74 Extension (Glasgow)

Brownhills Eastern Bypass (Walsall)

Titnore Lane (Sussex)

SEMMMS, Stockport Relief Road

A628 Mottram - Tintwistle Bypass (Peak District)

No Widening M1 (Sheffield)

No Widening M1 (Nottingham)

Weymouth Relief Road (Dorset)

A127/A1159 Priory Crescent, Southend (Essex)

Harlow Northern Bypass (Hertfordshire)

Bexhill to Hastings Link Road (East Sussex)

M25 widening

East Grinstead Relief Road (Sussex)


(3) Events

Railfuture Campaigners Conference – 1 July – Stoke on Trent

Climate change camp - 26 Aug - 4 Sept – North England

Stop Climate Chaos mass event - 4 November - central London




BIG decisions imminent on new roads and the Regional Funding Allocations

By the next e-bulletin we shall know whether the government has decided to give the go-ahead to new road schemes (including Lancaster, Brownhills, SEMMMS, and Rotherwas) and what they have decided with the new funding system – the Regional Funding Allocations. The government’s latest line is now “we hope to make announcements before the Summer Recess” (21 July). They have the opportunity to reject new roads, and to scale back the roads programme they have already built up. Email Transport Minister Douglas Alexander to say NO MORE ROADS -

Government doesn’t know the carbon impact of roads programme

The government has refused to release data on how much CO2 will be caused by the local road schemes it has approved, claiming it would be too expensive. Given that the government should only approve schemes once they know the CO2 impacts, Road Block suspects this proves they have absolutely no idea of the carbon impact of their roads programme. See

Meanwhile at a road pricing conference on 25 May Roads Minister Stephen Ladyman announced that sorting out congestion was a bigger priority than tackling climate change for any road pricing scheme. That man really needs to sort his priorities out.

Did the Newbury Bypass work?

Ever wondered what happened after the Newbury Bypass was built, and to Stanworth Valley where a week-long tree eviction took place during the 1990’s? Well, CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, and the Countryside Agency have commissioned research into three big road schemes from the 1990’s (Newbury, M65 and Polegate Bypass in Sussex) to assess their impact on traffic levels, the landscape and subsequent development. The report shows that these case study roads did not relieve congestion, instead driving up traffic levels, and have led to ecological degradation and development. This important research will be a crucial tool for those campaigning against roads. Published on 5 July, it will be available to download here: or here:

East of England Regional Transport Strategy puts climate at its heart

After hearing evidence for months, the panel for the Examination in Public of the East of England regional plan released their report which was deceptively radical. In the chapter on transport, the panel put action on climate change at the centre of its policy recommendations. They said the region’s objective should be “to contribute to a reduction in the region’s climate change emissions by reducing growth, and ultimately achieving an absolute reduction in traffic on the region’s road system”. The panel report also recommended that the housing at Harlow North should not go ahead. See report below.


Reducing speed to reduce CO2

Joint research by the Slower Speeds Initiative and the UK Energy Research Centre concluded that a 60mph speed limit would significantly reduce carbon emissions in an equitable and cost-effective way. This measure, which could be introduced now, would help to curb traffic growth, the most intractable problem in getting carbon emissions from surface transport under control. It would also contribute more than the reduction expected from the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation.

You can download the report from or

Road Block national conference

A very successful conference was held on 10 June for local anti-road groups to network and learn campaign tactics. We all got fired up as we realised how important our individual battles are in the bigger picture of halting climate change. Workshops were held on how to use the Freedom of Information laws, Habitats law, using the media, Judicial Review, promoting alternatives to roads, climate change and much more. Information from the conference should be available soon on the Road Block website.

Stop Climate Chaos

Stop Climate Chaos is a massive coalition of all the development, faith and environmental organisations, created to build a huge movement for action on climate change. The combined membership of all the groups is millions of people. Road Block is proud to be a member. Stop Climate Chaos has created a range of actions for us all to take including a pledge to tell Tony Blair to take action on climate change and a personal pledge to reduce your carbon impact.

Please go here to sign the pledge:

SCC are organising a huge mass event in central London on 4 November when the next UN climate talks are happening. Put it in your diary!

Jeremy Clarkson v bus drivers

Writing in the Sun on 10 June, offensive car-obsessive Clarkson said any bus driver who fails to let the car go first is an "inconsiderate jumped-up little Hitler bastard" who should be "shot in the middle of his face". The T&G Union challenged him to work as a bus driver for a week.



M74 Extension (Glasgow) – URGENT

EMERGENCY FUNDING APPEAL - JAM74 and Friends of the Earth Scotland unsuccessfully applied for a cost-capping Protective Costs Order for their very important legal challenge to the M74 motorway through Glasgow. The campaign had just under a week to raise £25,000 to bring the case on 27 June. The Emergency Fund launch got off to a flying start, raising over £7000 in the first day, with £21,000 raised the day before the case. The campaign is very important for us all – it challenges the March 2005 decision of the Scottish Executive to overturn the independent public inquiry inspector’s decision to roundly reject the scheme on every ground (see RB bulletin 25 March -05). To donate please go here:

and view the daily fundraising report here:

Brownhills Eastern Bypass (Walsall) – VICTORY?

Fantastic news as Walsall council announced the withdrawal of the route of the proposed road away from the village of Stonnall. Well done to the superb SCAR (Stonnall Campaign Against Roadbuilding) campaign. The council had proposed the road through neighbouring Lichfield council Green Belt land, but Lichfield and Staffordshire councils both opposed the road! (see RB bulletin 12 March 06). SCAR will continue campaigning as it is unclear whether the council will withdraw the road proposal altogether, or dump it somewhere else. See

Titnore Lane (Sussex) – protest camp set up

A protest camp has been established in ancient woodland at Titnore Woods in Durrington, Sussex against a housing development and associated link road to the A27. Protect Our Woodland are offering a free holiday at the camp set in ancient woodland close to the designated South Downs National Park. Meanwhile other road schemes on the A27 have not been prioritised by the region, so therefore are unlikely to receive government funding, despite heavy lobbying by business leaders and politicians. The housing development is made even more unsustainable if the A27 cannot cope with the traffic generated by the road. On 16 June a delegation visited the Crawley offices of Taylor Woodrow, unfurling a banner declaring "Hands off Titnore Woods!" outside the offices of the construction firm, which is jointly planning the 875-home estate together with Heron Land Management and Persimmon Homes. For information and directions to the camp please call and see

SEMMMS, Stockport Relief Road – VICTORY?

On 6 June Mark Hunter, Lib Dem MP for Cheadle, whilst throwing his weight behind the Climate Change Bill, then secured an adjournment debate in which he called for the go-ahead for the £860 million traffic-generating valley-destroying SEMMMS relief road. Fortunately Minister Gillian Merron indicated the government were not willing to fund the scheme through PFI credits due to the huge cost and the environmental damage to the Goyt Valley. An announcement is due in the next few weeks.


A628 Mottram - Tintwistle Bypass (Peak District) – DELAY!

Roads Minister, Stephen Ladyman, announced on 1 June that due to the substantial number of objections the inquiry would be delayed until next year. Objections range from the Peak District National Park Authority, the Countryside Agency, the Environment Agency, English Nature and the National Trust and several local authorities who will suffer from the enormous traffic generated by the scheme. There were over 1,400 objections during the official consultation period. In Ladyman’s statement he prejudged the outcome of an inquiry and claimed the scheme would benefit local people.



The Highways Agency have been claiming that objection letters sent in after the close of the official objection period are “not valid” which is not true and is being challenged. Keep the objection letters coming.

See for a standard letter.

No Widening M1 (Sheffield)

Consultations have just started into widening of the M1 between junctions 30 and 42 (from Chesterfield to Leeds, via Sheffield). The Sheffield No Widening M1 group have been busy and held a successful demo at the exhibitions and received front page media coverage.


See the photos here:
The massive amount of M1 widening will cost the taxpayers billions of pounds, bring more pollution to residents, increase traffic and CO2, and will simply fill up again in a few years. It must be stopped! Groups have been established in Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester and Doncaster. To get more involved see or phone 07759 851073

No Widening M1 (Nottingham) – URGENT!

Meanwhile, you have until 29 June to register your opposition to the £1.9 billion M1 widening from junctions 21-30 (Leicester to Chesterfield, via Nottingham). You can email the Transport Minister, Douglas Alexander, directly from here:

Weymouth Relief Road (Dorset)

West Dorset District Council is due to reject the recommendations of an independent local plan inspector (see RB bulletin 11 Feb) and keep the road in their Local Development Framework (local plan). At the recent consultation there were 1,484 objections to the road, and 1,860 indications of support, so support for the road is not as unanimous as the County Council would like everyone to believe. Meanwhile the Planning Application for the road is due to be heard on 21 July, with Government Office South West expected to ‘call-in’ the application for a full public inquiry. Local MP and ex-Defra minister Jim Knight has been busy lobbying the Countryside Agency to drop their objection to the scheme. The CA claim the scheme is not a justified intrusion into the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Department for Transport responded to the Transport Select Committee report on the Olympics by confirming that the road scheme is not needed for the sailing part of the Games despite the claims of the council. Dorset CPRE go further and say that the road will increase congestion from day one of opening.

A127/A1159 Priory Crescent, Southend (Essex)

The Parklife residents group have been campaigning against this scheme for five years as of 10 June whilst the protest camp has now been up and running for nine months. Campers have visited the new Titnore Woods protest camp to show support, provide building supplies and to network, and plan to visit Bilston Glen site in Scotland. Parklife have just launched a 'Beat the Bulldozer' pledge to sign up people to defend the camp, and a tea-party is being held on the 2 July if you would like to visit the camp.

See , or call .

Harlow Northern Bypass (Hertfordshire) – VICTORY?

The panel report on the draft East of England Plan was published on 22 June with the recommendation that the massive housing development (and presumably related northern bypass) should not be built. The government now has to decide whether to adopt the recommendations of the panel or not. Congratulations are due to the STOP Harlow North campaign. See


Bexhill to Hastings Relief Road (Sussex)


The scoping report for the Environmental Statement ahead of the planning application has been roundly criticised by East Sussex Transport 2000. It did not contain information on alternatives, and there was not sufficient information on biodiversity or woodlands. It also makes wild claims about the scheme’s ‘benefits’.


M25 widening - DELAY

The huge DBFO (private) contract to widen the M25 should be delayed for 2 years because of the impact of the Olympics according to a risk report by Orman Risk Analysts for the Highways Agency. They claim that construction costs will be too high, and there will be a shortage of concrete due to the Olympics! This project is the government’s largest ever road contract, and will cost the tax-payer at least £4.5 billion. Previous widening of the M25 has filled up with traffic within a few years.

East Grinstead Relief Road (Sussex)

Plans for a £4 million East Grinstead Relief Road could run into trouble as monks at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Crawley Down are praying for the road to be stopped. They say the road will destroy the silence their community needs to worship God.


1st July, Railfuture Campaigners Conference, Stoke-on-Trent


26th August - 4th September, Climate Camp

A huge camp for action around climate change is being planned for the North of England from 26 Aug to 4 Sept. See

4th November, Stop Climate Chaos Event


Mass event in central London. See


Object to the M1 widening by emailing Transport Minister, Douglas Alexander, with a standard letter directly from here:

Object to the Mottram Tintwistle Bypass by sending a standard letter from

Object to the Heysham M6 Link (Lancaster) Planning Application -