Thursday, October 09, 2008

Roadbuilding in a time of Global Economic Crisis

Although we've written before of the likely effects of the Credit Crunch on the Bypass, you may have noticed that that term has now (thankfully) become passé. The media has now started to use the much more realistic term 'Global Financial Crisis' (in our view soon to be a 'Global Economic Crisis'). The past 3 weeks has seen an incredible drama unfold around the world as the consequences of a dash for growth based largely upon credit start to hit home. 

These are fascinating times, which doubtless leave those that believed in the 'final victory' of Capitalism going back to the drawing board, if not question everything they have based their lives upon. But trying to make this blog relate in some way to the Longdendale Bypass, the future of this road is now surely even less certain than ever before, and we'd like you to ponder some of our thoughts at this time:

1) If the Car Industry and Road Building is as central to Capitalism as we believe, will keeping the construction projects going be the way to Economic recovery or do the huge amounts of public money being thrown at the banks and the money markets put an end to such Government spending for the foreseeable future?

2) Conversely, in the same context, what is the financial justification for continuing with the Longdendale Bypass and the Public Inquiry? If the costs have escalated to £315 million, and the Highways Agency costing model is based on the price of Oil being $20 a barrel, who is the Government kidding that it can continue with this project?

In the last 3 weeks, hundreds of billions of pounds of Taxpayer's money has been thrown at the Banks, and it doesn't seem to be working, the crash is continuing day by day.

For everyone concerned with what the future holds - and what it should hold - whether you work for the Highways Agency, whether you are in favour or against the Bypass - when will the penny drop?

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