Monday, September 24, 2007

Pull the other one...

It won't have escaped anyone's notice, but last week the Public Inquiry was adjourned unexpectedly for the second time. The Inquiry will briefly reconvene on November 6th, giving the Highways Agency time to re-work some of their evidence, and then again on December 18th to deal with the rest of it. The Objectors will now have to wait until 2008 to present their evidence again.

At this stage, it would seem to naive to believe anything other than that this is a tactical charade by the Highways Agency. By the time their case is over, they will have had nearly 2 years to formulate their case to bring before the public - so one questions if that is really the problem. Unlike the State, the Objectors do not have bottomless pockets to fund their part in this charade, and individual objectors can get fed up with the constant delays. The Highways Agency want to turn everyone off with their slow, grinding misery of an approach.

And, of course, the Inspector lets them carry on with it. At the Inquiry, he has been largely subservient to their whims. Faced with complaints, he can only offer Objectors a bit more time to change their evidence, and makes vague references that Objectors can point out how they have been disadvantaged by the actions of the HA, and that he will take a view when writing his report. This is cold comfort.

In a Court of Law, the actions of the Highways Agency may well by now have been regarded as 'abuse of process', and their case may have been dismissed. But not here.

And it seems that both sides are in agreement that this thing needs to be wrapped up. Channel M dutifully reported on matters once more (see above), and that's the impression one gets from their report. But it does have some anomalies.

In it, Mike Flynn of the Longdendale Siege Comittee puts in an appearance again. Standing but a stroll away from his house on Wedneshough Green in Hollingworth, he laments the time it is all taking. Notice how he's nowhere near the Inquiry. As we've pointed out before, he's prepared to mouth platitudes for Television and his best mates at the Reporter Group Newspapers, but he hasn't the bottle to stand up at the Inquiry and tell us all why he wants this road. What a Weasel...

The second problem is that the video shows Brookfield near Hadfield when talking about 'diverting traffic away from the villages of Mottram, Tintwistle and Hollingworth'. What's more, it's traffic heading into Glossop, and away from the area. Pull the other one, it's got bells on...

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