Thursday, August 09, 2007
A blast from the past - the above cartoon and the following article were from the magazine of the Ramblers Association ('Rucksack') published in Autumn 1974. It's as prescient now as it was at the time.
An unusual amount of attention has focussed upon the inquiry into the Denton bypass, a 1 1/2 mile stretch of motorway near Manchester, designed - so the DOE says - to relieve traffic congestion in Denton itself. The reason for this attention is that it is widely feared that this is the first part of the feared Manchester-Sheffield motorway, which would tear through the heart of the public access land in the Peak District National Park.
As we have seen in the case of the M16 across Epping Forest, the DOE has adopted the familiar old trick of publishing its plans for the whole motorway in short stretches and of securing authority for the least contentious section first of all. This strengthens their hand at the inquiry into the most contentious stretch.
However, this time the objectors have jumped in at an early stage. Led by Gerald Haythornthwaite, amenity societies have objected to the Denton by-pass on the grounds that it could prejudice consideration of that section of the M67 that may be proposed for Longdendale.
Whether the Denton by-pass is actually built or not is not of itself a matter of national importance, but the way the Secretary of State replies to our objection is. Ideally, he would respond by stating that, henceforth, it will be government policy not to build motorways through national parks. This, after all, is a policy which many other countries would accept as being beyond question