Monday, 17 May 2010

Axe hovers over M6 Link, say campaigners

Camapaigners against the M6 Link have immediately hit back at the County Council's optimistic interpretation of government warnings they might not get funding for it (see earlier story).

"Lancashire County Council has obstinately issued a press release boasting that 'it’s business as usual' for its Link road design team, and that public money is still being channelled into the project, even though many other Council staff are worried about funding cuts to other jobs and services," notes David Gate, Chair of local campaign group Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe.

"The Heysham M6 Link road has been overtaken by financial and environmental realities," he counters.

TSLM are firmly against the massive £140 million dual carriageway HGV road, which would cut through residential districts, and would destroy 173 acres of Green Belt.

It has been calculated that the new traffic that it would attract would pump out an additional 23,000 tons of CO2 into the North Lancashire environment each year.

Now, the Department for Transport has written to Lancashire County Council warning them that funding for building new roads is under review. (Full text of letter here). The DfT is taking stock of the financial commitments on transport with the Treasury to allow new Ministers to consider priorities, and if the County Council chooses to continue work on the Heysham M6 Link road scheme it will have to be at their own risk.

The controversial County Hall road building plan does not have government funding approval.

"Building the Northern route road would contradict the electoral promise of a low carbon economy, and TSLM will be advocating integrated transport plans for the district which will be a better and more sustainable stimulus than the under-performing Link road plan," says David.

"Lancashire County Council should halt work immediately on this scheme, which is poor value for money, and the forthcoming Public Inquiry in October should be put on hold pending the government’s decision on funding."

• (Full text of the letter from the DfT to the Council informing them of the spending review)


• TSLM have a range of proposals for non-road traffic and transport improvements on their campaign web site: http://heyshamm6link.info


• Campaign for Better Transport: www.bettertransport.org.uk

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