Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Greens' anger as Heysham M6 Link Road gets go ahead

The local Green Party has condemned the government's decision to press ahead with the Heysham M6 Link Road, arguing it will not solve Lancaster's traffic problems, will add extra traffic - not less - and is a waste of money at a time of major public spending cuts.

The Secretary of State, Patrick McLoughlin announced that the Heysham M6 Link Road  will be built at a cost of over £120 million of public money for under three miles of road.  The Green Party has argued for many years that the HM6L is a huge waste of money and will not improve traffic conditions in Lancaster or reduce congestion on Morecambe Road.

"The decision to go ahead is very bad news indeed," said a spokesperson for the party, agreeing on concerns raised by Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe that it will not solve Lancaster’s traffic problems. "This was acknowledged in a County Council statement at the recent public inquiry."

"At a time of financial stringency and hugely damaging budgets cuts it is a mis-use of scarce public money," they continued. "It adds extra traffic to Morecambe Road (up 15%), A6 at Slyne (up 46%) and Church Brow in Halton (up 44%). It destroys the green belt and adds to air pollution and greenhouse gases, both of which we are supposed to be reducing.


"Despite claims that it will create jobs there is little evidence that any road project has led to new employment once the construction phase is finished. The government’s own research says that there is no “convincing” evidence of job creation claims."

"Spending this much money on something that the County Council admits will not solve our congestion problems is a damning indictment of this coalition government," argues County Councillor Sam Riches, "who are bringing forward savage cuts in budgets that will damage so many people, especially the ill, the poor, children and the elderly."

“The Green Party wants a 21st century solution to Lancaster’s traffic problems and not a re-hash of poor quality 20th century thinking," added Gina Dowding, a former city councillor and candidate in the forthcoming county council election. "We support TSLM's detailed package of measures costing £40 million (PDF link) that will solve our traffic problems and benefit everyone with much improved transport options. 

"The county council and the coalition government have rejected common sense and gone for the most expensive and least effective solution they could think of.”

16 comments:

Heath Downes said...

The Green Party is out of touch and needs to visit the 21st Century. Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham needs this road and has needed it for at least 25 years. Our City has stood still with traffic calming measures and a pathetic one way system that doesn't work. I welcome the fact that at long last local people and businesses have something to smile about. Our area needs forward thinkers and pioneers, not ideas which are stuck in the 19th Century. Hooray for today - common sense has prevailed at long last!

Anonymous said...

What is it with these road builders - for 30 years they said the western bypass was the solution. When they couldn't get it, the northern bypass (now the 'm6 Link') became the best idea ever. The County Council wouldn't introduce Park and Ride without this road - why was PnR dependent on building this road? Why not try that first at a tenth of the price? Because they are the ones stuck in the 19th century, not the people who came up with a £40 million plan to solve many traffic problems, which the County did not investigate - which they might yet regret if there is a legal challenge.

At least £123 million to get somewhere five minutes sooner? For how long? One year? Two?

I'm betting the fatheads at County Hall will be rolling out their ideas for a Western Bypass by 2020. And people will think that's the best thing since sliced bread all over again...

Anonymous said...

This road is the best thing to happen to Heysham and Morecambe in a long time.

Brendan Jones said...

Yeah, just think of all the houses that can get built in Heysham now you can get to places five minutes quicker. Developers will be buying up land right now I expect - if they haven't already. Oh, wait... won't that mean more traffic? Then you'll want another road... Oh.

Anonymous said...

About time. Now lets get the diggers in and start the economic growth to this side of the river.
(alias Torrisholme resident)

Anonymous said...

About time. Now lets get the diggers in and start the economic growth to this side of the river.
(alias Torrisholme resident)

Anonymous said...

How can the greens complain, it will stop all the cars and lorries sat there pumping all their pollution out twice a day stuck on Morecambe Road. Or are they happy that it takes 40 minutes to travel 5 miles.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the green objectors is they are not in touch with the real world of work. Nice idea to all live simple lives with no impact on the environment. Now it's time to wake up and bring the area into the current century before it dies completely.

Anonymous said...

Can someone from the Green Party please tell me when they last supported the building of any road anywhere? They have a blanket ban on road building, even if it means more jobs, more prosperity, more affluence. Look up Luddite and see a dictionary definition for our modern day Green Party. Selfish, small minded people who exist purely in make-believe world.

John Freeman said...

You're right, the Greens don't appear to support road building, but they do have policy on transport, here it is in a nutshell (via http://greenparty.org.uk/policies.html). Just as a FYI.

"An integrated Green public transport system will be reliable, affordable, convenient and widely accessible. By investing in safe and spacious cycle lanes, pavements and pedestrian areas and in better local rail and bus networks, we will reduce air pollution and congestion. Taxes on more polluting transport will be used to provide efficient and affordable public transport alternatives. A Green government will return the railways to public ownership; re-open lines and stations and reduce fares."

Tony Connolly said...

1 "An integrated Green public transport system is needed I mean I never see buses in Lancaster or Morecambe. Safe and spacious cycle lanes great idea So sorry that you haven't seen the cycle path that leads from Morrison's to Lancaster's Sainsbury's. I think you may of overlooked the promenade. How about Bringing back the cycle proficiency test and teaching Cyclist's how to be safe on the roads and Pavements. I remember a number of years ago That cyclists should not use the pavements. they had to have lights, pump and bell or some other device that's informs of your presence. Re-open Lines and stations. In the Lancaster Morecambe area there would have to be a great deal of money spent for relaying of tracks and rail station's not to mention the fact that the old line would close the Cycle path oops! Reduce fare's In a time of rising fuel costs would it not mean more government subsidies but of course it could be paid for out of the road tax that all these naughty motorists pay for. By the time your policies come into force most vehicles will be omitting very little polluting fumes but if you ever do get into number 10 I'm sure that you will find it more practical to invest into research for the green car. you never know you might even find it's cheaper. By the way if the green party do ever get to number 10 you will find reality isn't so clear cut.

Anonymous said...

Get the diggers rolling.
The Greens have cursed us with 20 mph and residents parking - time to realize they have it mostly wrong. This road is essential.

Tufty Squirrel said...

"Cursed us with 20mph"? I'm sure the people not killed because of such measures might disagree with you (check this out: http://virtual-lancaster.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/less-people-killed-and-injured-on.html). But then maybe you're one of those drivers who thinks speed limits apply to other people?

Gilbert Otter said...

Lovely to see all these car drivers getting a hard on about a new road. Seriously, it's like they're thinking it will be just like all those car ads with no other cars on the road.

This road will be bumper to bumper within two years once it's built, based on the experience of places like Newbury where their bypass got built and their town is now as snarled up with traffic as it was before.

Chris Satori said...

Sadly the price of diesel now stands at £1.41 per litre and is set to rise. The price of commodities, such as food, rises with it. The increasing use of agricultural land for bio-oil crops is also pushing up the price of food. The UK is involving itself in an increasing number of costly wars in territories with oil and gas reserves to little effect, as the superpowers are determined to corner the remaining supplies, ensuring that these wars will continue, unresolved, until supplies run out. Furthermore they will add to our internal security issues - at a time when we are becoming more heavily dependent on vulnerable nuclear power installations.

UK national security requires a strategy for survival that is not dependent on fossil fuel or bio-oil crops, as neither are sustainable at current levels of use - which will increase on our current course.

Oil is one of the most precious substances on earth. We depend on it for so many industrial processes and are surrounded by crucial components made from it. Burning what remains of it is its least efficient and most polluting use.

A great many people cannot depend entirely on bicycles. I myself am getting past the age where I can endure getting wet, tired and frozen and still put in a good day's work - before getting wet and frozen again to go home. The same goes for standing at a freezing bus shelter in the wind, rain and dark for a bus that may or may not arrive, and will charge more than a car journey when it does. The same applies to my dependents.

In this day and age, with our mobile phones, computers and GPS systems, it is possible to programme efficiently shared door-to-door transport services for individual local journeys, and it is likely that, as fuel costs inevitably rise, so will the demand for such cost-effective and convenient solutions, which will also provide local employment.

We also require a more efficient goods distribution infrastructure. Breaking up the rail system into numerous private companies has left us with an expensive, chaotic and unreliable service. If you think planning an individual rail journey is expensive and complex, imagine trying to use it to deliver expensive perishable goods. It is no wonder we have become so dependent on road haulage. However an efficient system of rail goods depots and local distributors would bring local employment and reduce costs and pollution.

Given that we will need to organise our infrastructure to meet changes in fuel and food availability, or manage without, which I think we cannot do without great hardship, I think it foolish to invest such time, effort, resources and money into a scheme that is based on airy positive thinking, political party funding, climate-change denial and a 1970s economic model and does nothing to address the problems we can all now see we will have to face. However, where there is the possibility of so vastly lucrative a construction contract, with so open-ended a public commitment to meet whatever additional costs will arise as the economic situation develops, there will be a powerfully-connected and well-funded lobby that will never give up chasing it.

Anonymous said...

A sad day for democracy and the decision makes an absolute mockery of the Conservative governments Localism Act which is meant to empower local people.

The majority want a bypass but not this one as it will not be the solution for the traffic congestion that is economically crippling the area.

Local authority representatives on Morecambe Town and lancaster City Council voted against the Northern By Pass.

In my opinion its quite obvious the purpose of the road is for a third nuclear power station at Heysham which is absolute madness because of this fact:-

http://www.virtual-lancaster.net/news/news_archive/2002/archive02_04.htm#no_more_nukes

NO MORE NUKES AT HEYSHAM?
19/4/02: The Lancaster Citizen has reported that a geological fault in the land next to Heysham 1 and 2 has ruled out the possibility of ever building a new nuclear power station at that site.
British Energy has admitted that existence of the fault means would be "impossible" to construct a Heysham 3 or 4.
Local environmentalists have recently been campaigning to stop an expansion of the area's nuclear power fearing that Heysham could be chosen under the Government's energy review.

What do our local MPs and Councillors have to say about this structural fault at Heysham?