Saturday, August 04, 2007

Differences of (medical) opinion

There are 2 interesting documents to compare at the Public Inquiry website, as is usual, one in opposition, and one in support of the bypass.

Firstly, the objection supplied by the Directors of Public Health of Greater Manchester. This is a lengthy, comprehensive and damning critique of the lack of consideration given to the effects on human health of this road scheme. They also supply a fantastic quote (para 13):

"It follows that once a road has become part of a saturated road system attempting to solve traffic problems with road construction is as sensible as trying to dig a hole in the surface of a lake"

And then you have a letter supporting the bypass from a local GP surgery, the Smithy Surgery in Hollingworth. This is the best they can offer (emphasis added):

"We are a GP Surgery at the intersection of the A628 and the road that goes to Glossop. We have many patients within the Longdendale valley and are fully aware of the present high pollution levels and emissions caused by the local road congestion. We have been told that the proposed by-pass will reduce these levels which must be beneficial for many of our patients particularly those with chronic diseases such as chronic lung disease. We therefore as GP's support the Mottram/Tintwistle By-pass."

So who told them that the bypass will reduce pollution levels? Whoever it was, they were lying - even the Highways Agency's own literature makes it clear that pollution levels will increase (p.12), as the DPHGM have also pointed out above. But even more worrying is why 3 highly qualified health practitioners would simply accept what they were being told without looking into the matter, and then parade their ignorance for all to see. Even worse than that is that the above paragraph is the sum total of their supporting document - all typed onto an A5 compliment slip.

One wonders what their relationship is with local councillors...

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