The government's new planning authority has pushed the proposed Heysham M6 Link Road forward another stage, and a further round of consultation with those affected by the scheme will soon begin.
Lancashire County Council submitted the application for the Heysham M6 Link Road to the Infrastructure Planning Commission on 6th December 2011. The IPC had 28 days to consider it, but hastened the decision through by 23rd December 2011.
"The M6 link is more than just a road," argues County Councillor Tim Ashton, Cabinet member for highways and transport. "It will be an engine for
economic growth for the whole of the region and we're very pleased that
we have now been given the go-ahead to move on to the next stage.
"We would encourage people to take every opportunity to have their say.
know a lot of local people support the proposals," he claimed, "and welcome the
injection of £111 milion of government money into the area - it is important
that these people say so.
"At the end of the examination period the IPC will make a recommendation
to the Secretary of State who will then make the final decision on
whether to approve this scheme."
What the County Council isn't saying is that the decision does not mean that the IPC accepts the scheme, just that they will examine it - and as we have previously reported, despite huge enthusiasm for the road from the County Council, there's plenty of local opposition and suggestions for less expensive altrnatives.
The next important stage is for everyone interested in the scheme to register with the IPC between 11th January and 20th February.
“It's very important that the IPC hears the views of those residents and others who think like TSLM that this project is plain wrong," argues David Gate, Chairman of Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe. "These people should register with the IPC and put forward their views.
"This project is hugely expensive, and likely to become more so, and will not achieve the County’s stated aim of reducing traffic congestion in Lancaster and Morecambe.”
TSLM is the principal objector to the project, and has been campaigning for several years to stop the Link Road and to try to persuade the County Council to consider alternative and less expensive measures that could bring growth and economic prosperity to the area in a much more beneficial manner and at a reduced cost.
“This is very different from telling the County Council, which promotes the scheme, and has never listened seriously to arguments against it," Mr Gate added. "The IPC is an independent body, and is obliged to listen to our concerns.”
Once the IPC has completed its examination and consideration of the scheme (after the summer) it will make a recommendation to the Government, which will then make a final decision on the project.
• Register your interest on the IPC website from tomorrow, 11th January 2012
• Lancashire County Council M6 Link Page
• Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe