|Otters at Halton on the proposed Link Road route. Photo by Stan Parrott. More pictures: www.polypics.co.uk|
The Judicial Review of Lancashire County Council's plans for the Heysham M6 Link road was heard in the High Court in Manchester on 22-23 July. The case was brought by Transport Solutions for Lancaster & Morecambe (TSLM), funded by public subscription.
The judge did not give his decision on the day, but "reserved judgement" (he went away to consider it). Both TSLM and Lancashire County Council, who defended the case, had expected judgement within a fortnight but, as there is plenty to think about, the decision is still under reservation. And we, and all the wildlife, are very happy to leave it there.
One thing the wait has demonstrated yet again is how, during the school holidays, the traffic flows more freely - despite major roadworks. Yet again we renew our plea for a sustainable school transport system to address local congestion problems. As parents are being pressed to work more hours and transport costs rise, the financial and practical arguments for a door-to-door school shuttle transport system, at least for primary age schoolchildren, become more compelling.
It is local schoolchildren and taxpayers who will have to live with the consequences of any decision and foot the council's bills. Whether their interests can compete with those of the powerful corporate road lobby remains to be seen.
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