The decision to go ahead with the Heysham M6 Link Road is bad news for the area, says Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe, the local campaign group.
The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin today announced that the £123 million scheme had been given the go-ahead, news that has been warmly welcomed by Lancashire County Council (see news story).
But David Gate of Transport Solutions said: “This is the wrong decision. The benefits claimed for the scheme are false.
“It does not solve congestion," he argues, "as the Council admitted at the recent Examination. They said then that the Link Road is not intended to solve Lancaster ’s problems”.
According to their statistics, when the Link Road is built "Traffic goes down on some roads but up on others. On Morecambe Road it does both: down in the East but up in the West.
“It won’t bring jobs," David continued, "except in the construction phase. New roads don’t create jobs, they just move them about.
"Plus, this new road will reduces journey times by only five minutes, at peak times only.”
“It won’t bring prosperity for local businesses, and businessmen know it.” Mr Gate added “When they were asked to contribute to the cost (in 2010), none did.”
"And yet there are alternatives that would work better and are cheaper, but the Council haven’t investigated them."
TSLM say they will now look at the decision and are taking legal advice, asking if all the issues - including environmental issues - were considered properly. They tell Virtual Lancaster that they are receiving encouraging advice from their lawyers who would be willing to pursue the case on a “no win no fee” basis.
David Gate says: "A legal challenge would have to be made in a tight timescale (6 weeks), and of course it would require money. We have some funds, and believe we would need a further £3,000. So once again we are coming to you, who have fought against this scheme for so long, to ask for your help.
"This time, because of the uncertainties involved, we are asking now for a pledge, which we would ask you to honour only if the following condition is met:
IF our legal advisers tell us that we have a good case to mount a legal challenge,
THEN would you pledge a certain amount towards the legal costs of that challenge?
"Be assured that we would always use your money cautiously and wisely."
• Those wishing to pledge financial support should copy, complete and email the form below to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pledge to TSLM
IF TSLM’s legal advisers believe that there is a good case to mount a legal challenge, THEN I pledge towards the legal costs of mounting that legal challenge:
Amount (figures) £