Monday, January 07, 2008

Levitt's 2008 predictions

In his column in last week's Glossop Chronicle (actually a regurgitation of his own New Year press release), Tom Levitt makes an astonishing prediction:

"We will find out the result of the Tintwistle Mottram bypass enquiry in 2008 and I am confident that, despite hiccups, the result will be in its favour"

One wonders how Levitt has arrived at this conclusion: looking back to the last sitting of the Public Inquiry (PI) on December 18th last year, The Highways Agency (HA) could only give a vague commitment about when they would be ready to tell the PI when they would be ready!

If one imagines this is going to be 'after Easter 2008', then that would mean after 23rd March. So if we're being optimistic, it may be possible that the HA would be able to tell John Watson they would be ready by May this year - the first anniversary of the commencement of the PI.

Of course, all of their information may then have to be republished, and it's possible that another consultation period will then follow if the revisions are extensive. But even if this isn't the case, it's unlikely the PI will restart until June this year. Does Tom Levitt really think the PI will be concluded before December 31st 2008 and further that John Watson will make his decision before then? Really? Has he been following events closely at all? Is he - a former PPS to two Government Ministers/Secretaries of State - really that ignorant of the length of time consumed by statutory procedures such as this?

Is this man a cretin, or just incredibly optimistic? Answers on a postcard to the usual address...

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