Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tameside's "Traffic Calming" Deathtraps

There was a small snippet in last week's Tameside Advertiser that may have escaped widespread notice. It was about a campaign by Roseanne Kay of Stalybridge to highlight the death of her 16 year-old son, Callum, on Tameside's roads.

In December 2003, Callum was out on his moped for the first time when he hit a pothole, fell off and slid into the path of a lorry and was killed. The pothole was below the Council's own trigger point for repairs (depths greater than 50mm), and the Coroner criticised TMBC's road repair procedures heavily at the Inquest into Callum's death

Roseanne is now planning to present a petition to James Purnell MP calling for action on the state of the Roads in Tameside.

As we reported recently, Tameside already has a brutal approach to expressions of roadside grief. But the grim reaper himself in this morbid pantomime is played by none other than Roy Oldham. Just over a year after the inquest into Callum's death, the best he could offer by way of an explanation for potholes is that they were a "Traffic Calming Measure". You would expect a shape-shifting politician to be rather more mindful of the grief of Roseanne, but Oldham's trademark is his tendency to open his mouth and put his foot right in it. The message is clear - we don't give a shit about the safety of the public, be they pedestrian, cyclist, motorist or otherwise. Tameside MBC would rather spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on ridiculous flower arrangements, whilst banning floral tributes. It would rather spend millions of plugging a road that will increase deaths (the bypass), than  a few thousand filling in properly holes that will prevent them.

We wonder what reception Roseanne will get from the veritable smooth snake that is James Purnell? Fine words probably, but fuck all is our best guess. And if she lays flowers at the site where her son died, under their new directive the bureaucrats at Tameside will remove them in a month...

1 comment:

Tom Hagen said...

Very good article. It is worth mentioning this article at Tameside Mafia.

I was at that council meeting and Oldham is now shifting the finger of blame away from the council of responsibility of repairing roads (even though our road tax and council tax is supposed to pay for this) to the utility companies. He now wants the utilities to cough up they cash as they should of done in the first place, but Oldham is using it as a wider distraction.

What was funny was that Labour councillors agreed and one chose to use United Utilities as an example. Roy Oldham shook his head as he put his head in his hands. As mentioned on numerous occasions on this blog, UU has many ties with the council with the mass investment from the Greater Manchester Pension Fund which TMBC administrates.