As we reported earlier, the judgement in the legal challenge to the Heysham M6 Link was published today. The judge Mr Justice Turner did not agree with the arguments put forward by campaign group Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe, who have campaigned tirelessly for an alternative and more sustainable transport plan for the area.
TSLM Chair David Gate said: “We’re sorry that the Courts did not accept our legal case. The judge did accept that these were serious arguments, seriously presented, and he considered them seriously, Indeed, so serious were the arguments and the contradictions in the Council’s case, that it took the judge 10 weeks to reach a decision.
“The judge did agree with us on some points, e.g. that the consultations were defective.
“We have taken legal advice, and that is that there are errors in the judge’s decision, and there are good grounds for a successful appeal against it. So we shall ask the courts for permission to appeal.”
Mr Gate added: “This judgement was on the legal process, not the road itself. It is still crystal clear that this road is not value for money. It will not help congestion in Lancaster . It will not help regeneration in Morecambe. Sacrificing our Green Belt is too high a price to pay for such dubious benefits.
“And businesses don’t really think it will work. When asked, not a single business contributed a single penny towards it.
“It is an out-of-date scheme, and evidence continues to mount up against it. Now that scientists are saying that it is 95% certain that Global Warming is cased by humans, this is not the time to make that process worse by increasing harmful emissions and encouraging more car use.
“The cost is too high, and rising. The Council has already spent £13 million on design and preparation costs since 2005. Now it has written a blank cheque, to be drawn on Lancashire ’s taxpayers, for £12 million plus all overspend. It has recently increased that to £18 million, before a sod has been cut. We estimate that a further £9 million has been notched up already. The Council’s errors and bungling have led to delays and extra costs, to the tune of £5 million a year.
“The Council should cut their losses and withdraw the scheme now.”