Friday, March 27, 2009

And now, after 2 years, it's goodbye from him...

2 years after the start of the blog and it looks like it's the end ("of our elaborate plans, the end"). Although there will doubtless be more bypass-related news (and views) to relate over the coming months, for the most part the battle looks won, and there will hopefully only now be the odd pile of bones to pick over. We always said that the blog should end rather than become an end in itself, and we intend to stick to that. Consequently, it's going to get A LOT quieter around here, starting from tomorrow.

But there's still a lot to be concerned about in Longdendale and Glossopdale, the 2 areas threatened with blight from the bypass, even if it won't necessarily be reflected on this particular corner of the Internet.

There's been no apparent progress with the planned Tesco supermarket development at Mottram, which we were led to believe was directly related to the progress of the bypass Public Inquiry. With the economic climate now very different from when the project started, will the plans change? And if the store does go ahead, it's bound to create further traffic problems and congestion, which will not exactly dampen calls from certain quarters for a bypass in the future, even if that is now much less likely.

There's also still a question mark over what will happen with Mottram Show. Regular readers will be familiar with our past coverage and also that Tameside MBC have already bought an alternative site that's nowhere near Mottram. Surely the show should now return to its rightful place, with the superb views of the now hopefully permanently bypass-free Longdendale Valley?

In High Peak, there's a Borough Council bent on concreting over the Green Belt - it is inevitable given their acceptance of the Housing targets imposed by the Government of the East Midlands. Though much of the past industrial and retail development in the area (such as hated Rossington Park) has been predicated on the construction of the bypass, and that may now be compromised given the combination of the end of the scheme and the recession, the potential construction of more housing will only add more traffic to the equation. Again, this is grist to the mill of Tom Levitt's calls for a bypass, presumably along with any successor of whatever political tendency that follows him once he's booted out at the next election.

There'll almost doubtless be an inquest into the amount of money spent on this scheme, which must surely now be pushing £20 million (we know our counter indicates even more, but we've been unable to update it as we've been waiting for 'hard data' about costs to emerge). That'll be one thing we're likely to return to look at in future months.

There are already (and hopefully will be) other groups and places to find out more information about these areas of concern. We will plug them where we feel promotion is needed, but in the meantime, it's worth having a look under 'local links' in the sidebar for more information and places to go.

Lastly, with the assistance of, we've spent a little time putting together a 'word cloud' which has the 100 most frequently-used words on this blog over the past 2 years arranged into an interesting shape, with the most frequently-used words appearing largest. It can be found for a short time below our logo-banner or here if you want to see it larger still. Statisticians may be interested to learn that we've written just over 100,000 words* during the past 2 years (almost a thousand words a week!), spread over 260-odd blog posts. Also, we've probably spent as much time on artwork and images as we have on words. In due course, we may rig up a gallery of them all along the same lines as we did 2008 last December.

We are profoundly grateful for all the direct contributions, large or small, to this blog, as well as all the negative and positive inspiration along the way. You know who you are - 'without whom' etc...

So, for the time being at least, it's goodbye from him (whoever he was...)

La Lutta Continua!

* - that's enough to fill over 200 sides of A4 paper using a 12 point typeface!

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