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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Greenwash


The Highways Agency's latest publication about the bypass is interesting for a number of reasons.

Several people have proposed alternative road schemes for the bypass, and these have been collected in a booklet which is available as a PDF from the Public Inquiry website.

They range from the interesting and worthy of attention (alternative 1, page 4), to the frankly bonkers (920m tunnel under a hillside! - alternative 2, page 6), to the comparable with or worse than the existing scheme (alternative 4, page 10).

The most interesting aims to circumvent congestion by banning HGVs and creating a 'gyratory flow' system - stopping up some local roads, constructing very little new roadspace and removing traffic lights which create delays.

But the HA is keen to point out next to each one that they do not support each proposal. No matter, it's cost them time & money, and the 1990s remind us that a plethora of such tactics kill road schemes.

And there's also some psychology at work here. The front cover has a photo of standing traffic. The implication could be construed that these alternatives are bad, really bad, and lead to more traffic.

But the best bit is reserved for the back cover. On it, they proudly proclaim 'printed on recycled paper containing 75% post consumer waste and 25% ECF pulp.' Thank fuck they have somehow managed to do their bit for the environment...

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Sorry this is well after the original posting, but I've only just come across your site. (Well done on it BTW, keep up the good work!)

I was 'responsible' for alternatives 2 and 3 in the HA document. I say responsible, but the alternatives presented in this document bear very little relationship to those I actually submitted, and to those which I agreed with the 'nice chaps' from Hyder.

The first point I should make is that I submitted my alternatives as a sort of 'why not consider going in this general direction'. I in no way advocated a 920m tunnel, I realise this is as stupid as everyone else does. However, my 'rough line on a map' has been interpreted in this way, rather than the general suggestion intended. All the traffic control measures were added after I signed the plans off and some changes have also been made after that time. None of the notes I added have been included which explain the thinking behind this suggestion and in general I believe my alternatives have been made to look as bad as possible. I'm also not allowed any comeback on this - unlike the HA I can't revise my proposal and the only way I can 'correct' it is by presenting rebuttal evidence.

My general position is that I feel a Mottram bypass is necessary, but I don't feel that bypassing beyond here is appropriate. However, the other thing I wasn't happy about is that we could only present alternatives that were a 'complete alternative to the proposal'. We could not offer a better route in to Glossop and alternative measures for beyond which is what I would have preferred. My suggestions for a stepped plan including public transport improvements were also not deemed suitable for inclusion.

It seems the only alternative that will be considered to this bypass is another bypass and now that the main alternative route beyond Hollingworth has been built over there seems little point in even considering any alternative.