Saturday, April 28, 2007

Roy Oldham: 'He wears a Crown and builds a new road'

The Dark Lord has spoken, and Longdendale cowers: our Nemesis, Roy Oldham, has placed himself centre stage at this crucial time with a letter this week to the Reporter Group Newspapers (Tameside Reporter & Glossop Chronicle).

To show how even handed we are, it's regurgitated verbatim below:

'Ban plan has so many flaws'

As we approach the long overdue Public Inquiry for a decision to be made on this piece on infrastructure, the antibodies are still pushing the threadworn and hypocritical suggestion of alternatives such as a HGV ban on the A628.

They are vastly aware that this suggestion is flawed in a number of ways.

First the cross-Pennine traffic consists of more private cars than HGVs.

Secondly, they will not put the argument against traffic that arises in the Peak Park and the tourist traffic that visits the towns and park areas.

A significant traffic flow moves in and out of the Peak Park, HGVs from the quarries and cement works, private vehicles taking Peak Park residents into the Greater Manchester area to work and play and vice versa.

Will the bypass objectors ask for a ban on these vehicles?

Will they ask for a prohibition of tourist vehicles - some 17 million per year? Will the local objectors who live off the village' main roads, who without hesitation add their own vehicles to the congestion, use public transport?

I suggest the answer to all the questions will be met with a mealy mouth, "let's find alternatives", instead of a honest "no" - it's do as I say not as I do.

They pay their lip service to how the problem of congestion is terrible but their care for the school and children or the residents of Market Street, Hollingworth, is second to all others.

The fact seems not to matter that vehicular pollution via engine exhausts, particularly from brakes, tyres and clutch pads, invades the school and resident's homes, be it from the objectors' own vehicles or others.

The support from those elected by the people is immense.

The whole 10 Councils of Greater Manchester (including Tameside), the Regional Councils of the North West and East Midlands, Derbyshire County Council and High Peak Council, and the four MPs.

Let the Inquiry make its decision and it it's positive, get on with the construction, so as to bring relief to those who live with the problem on a daily basis.

Oldham has to rally his troops -or rather 'minions', because they are by and large a truly pathetic bunch totally in thrall to him. This is his greatest battle, and at age 73, possibly his last. His central charge here, is that a HGV ban will not work, because most of the vehicles using the existing roads are not articulated lorries. There's a certain amount of truth in this - after all, anyone who uses the route knows that during the school holidays, the road is remarkably empty.

But it's also disingenuous to assert that HGVs don't make a huge difference. For a start, they're a bloody sight longer & slower than cars. Consequently, a few HGVs can make a difference to congestion and traffic flow. After all, everyone who uses the road knows that all it takes to bring the whole route to a standstill is for one lorry to break down at the top of Mottram Moor, as they frequently do.

But what of local public opinion? It's telling that Oldham falls back on the 'those elected by the people' myth. Most people in Longdendale didn't vote for him in 2006 (63.2% - only 36.8% turned out), and only 51% of those who bothered to vote selected him. Furthermore, in 2006 none of the parties fielding candidates, not even vile opportunist scum like the BNP, mentioned the bypass in their campaign or literature. So he can't say Longdendale backs him.

Indeed, the only people who have gone out and asked local people what they think and what they want are our friends at Save Swallows Wood. In a recent survey, they found that 82% of people questioned thought the problems were due to 'too many lorries', and a further 70% identifying a HGV ban as a solution, with 49% wanting it as a 'first choice'.

In addition the haulage industry itself is indifferent to the bypass. A report by the South Pennine Integrated Transport Strategy found that whilst hauliers didn't oppose the bypass (what tarmac heads don't!), they were uncertain that it was needed. Like most sensible people, they know that's what the M1 and M62 are for.

If you read between the lines of Oldham's letter, the truth emerges. Those who want the bypass are 'elected representatives' - Councillors, Local & Regional Authorities. Because they think they know what is good for us. Take a look at Ashton Moss and Rossington Park if you want to know what they have decided our future holds. This is what the man's greatest achievements are - cultural and spiritual deserts - warehouses and 'living dead' retail parks staffed by those reliant on the minimum wage.

Oldham's assertion that existing pollution is a reason for having the bypass is quickly and easily discounted by the fact that the Highways Agency own data shows that CO2 emissions in the valley will rise by 9% as a result of its construction.

And as for the idea that Objectors to the bypass are authoritarian, this is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. Oldham's record (which may be the subject of a future post given that his wikipedia page has been locked by lickspittle admins), is proof enough of this individuals nasty, domineering, arrogant & authoritarian style. It's partly why he surrounds himself which such weak-minded cretins - they're the only people who can possibly make him look respectable and worth listening to.

Let's hope the old goat turns out on Tuesday - those present might be subjected to another of his boorish rants and see him for the clapped out one-trick pony he really is.

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