Fantastic news for the Stockport Against the Bypass campaign and Stockport Friends of the Earth as the government refused to pay £860m PFI credits for the Stockport and Poynton Bypasses plus a Manchester Airport link road (SEMMMS roads). This package of road schemes are the first the government have turned down for a very long time. This means that the beautiful Goyt Valley will now be safe. Minister Gillian Merron wrote to Stockport council saying that the scheme was unaffordable, but ominously that they should look at other options... See Stockport Friends of the Earth website for local information. http://www.stockportfoe.co.uk/local/SEMMMs.html
Let battle commence at Heysham M6 Link inquiry!
Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe (TSLM) and the Environmental Sustainable Transport Alliance (or ESTA, an alliance of CPRE, Transport 2000, NW TAR, Sustrans, and Friends of the Earth) have lined up a real 'A-Team' of experts to fight the public inquiry into the Heysham M6 Link ("Lancaster Northern Bypas"), funded by a spectacular fundraising effort by TSLM. The inquiry starts on 10 July. Meanwhile in a very dramatic move, Lancaster City Council voted to withdraw its support from the scheme. It joins the MP, 90% of local people, and the Road Haulage Association in rejecting the scheme. Lancashire County Council now stands isolated in promoting it. It is now just up to the Department for Transport to reject the funding bid for the scheme, which it has been sitting on for 2 years. Meanwhile the costs have rocketed to £156m, up from £118m 'worst case' when the bid originally went to DfT in July 2005. See TSLM's great website for more info. http://heyshamm6link.info/
Public inquiry to start on Mottram Tintwistle Bypass in Peak District
The public inquiry into the A628/A616 Mottram-Tintwistle bypass is set to begin on Tuesday 26 June. Objectors have already seen two extensions to the deadline for evidence following late submissions by the Highways Agency. Then on 20 June the Highways Agency published a 150+ page errata to the Environmental Statement, plus amended maps and plans, giving objectors only three working days to amend and submit their evidence! As a result of complaints from objectors, the second item on the agenda for Tuesday is "possible adjournment". For more information, visit the Save Swallow's Wood website. http://www.saveswallowswood.org.uk/