Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The North West can't afford a bypass...

At various points over the last few months, we've been harping on about how money (or more specifically the lack of it) may play a part in ending the proposals for the Bypass and Glossop Spur. Some campaigners believe that moment may now have arrived. 4NW (part of the North West Regional Development Agency) are consulting on the Regional Funding Allocation - i.e. how the money assigned to transport schemes in the North West will be allocated for the next few years. The consultation ends on 30th January (this Friday).

In their recent  report, 4NW admit the Regional Funding Allocation is now 35% over budget in terms of the schemes it wants to progress. The Government allows a 20% overspend (how ironic given the current state of the economy), but clearly the process is 15% over budget. Guess how much of the budget the Longdendale Bypass represents over the next 10 yearly spending periods? You guessed it, 15% (£242m of £1.5bn). And why not? After all, of late the government loves throwing public money at hopeless causes...

Furthermore, the report also tells us that 3 trunk road schemes represent 70% of the over-allocation. Their priorities are clear. Quelle surprise.

So is there any way they can be influenced to change their minds and throw it all at public transport? Some believe they can, and the CAMPAIGN group Save Swallows Wood have set up an online lobbying contraption that will allow you to ask 4NW to use their money for some other purpose. If you're more inclined to use snail mail, then they also provide a PDF pro-forma for you to do that. Fuller details of the whole shebang can be found on their special webpage (not special fried rice). Go on then, be off with you.

We'll be interested to see if hope triumphs over experience.

1 comment:

Emma said...

Save Swallow's Wood is a CAMPAIGN group (hence the RFA funding campaign) not a conservation group! Would you correct the article please.