Friday, 23 January 2015

Head in the Sands - MP Morris calls again for a Bay Tunnel

Morecambe Bay

BAE Systems announced in December that Costain, who won the County Council construction contract for the Heysham-M6 Link road, have won a further contract in a £300m+ scheme to upgrade its Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in preparation to build a replacement for the Royal Navy's Vanguard class Trident nuclear submarines.

Closing the loop
Morecambe MP David Morris, who was a very active champion of the controversial Link road project, spoke in parliament yesterday soliciting support (he didn't get it) for his campaign for a 15 mile road tunnel to be built under Morecambe Bay from Heysham to Barrow which, we note, would connect these two Costain projects.

Morris' campaign went public after the National Grid revealed plans earlier last August to build a tunnel for an electricity pipeline under the bay.

The idea has been condemned by the AA motoring organisation as impracticably long and by Better Transport as a waste of money that would be better spent on improving the public transport infrastructure.

Nuclear Partners
Costain's BAE Systems contract has also been heralded as record-breaking. The two companies have close links, with numerous leading personnel having worked for both at different times. Costain also have a history of construction partnerships with UK nuclear installations in Cumbria.

Cumbria is under sustained pressured from the UK government Office for Nuclear Development to accept a site for a giant, underground nuclear waste disposal and storage facility north of Barrow near Elterwater, despite robust opposition from the majority of residents in Cumbria and the Lake District National Park.

North West planners look to military-industrial complex....
BAE Systems, who manufacture arms and associated systems, are also major movers and shakers in Lancashire and Cumbria, with their projections for expansion of the military-industrial complex via new taxpayer-funded UK defense contracts cited in numerous local and regional planning documents.

....but jobs fail to materialise at BAE Enterprise Zone 
Unfortunately the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone near Preston, created in 2011 and anchored by two BAE sites at each end, was slated by government ministers last month (see BBC report) as the UK's 'worst-performing', as it had not yet created any jobs at all.

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