Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Longdendale Bypass - 'the weakest link'

Two weeks after their decision to defer funding for the Bypass, 4NW this week released the full text of their report presented to members to aid said decision being made. The document can be found here (opens PDF), and it makes troubling reading for those supporting the Bypass, both now and in the future.

Page 4 makes it clear that "there is a clear regional policy steer against sacrificing sustainable transport and essential maintenance schemes in favour of funding increased costs of major road schemes".  The current economic crisis only serves to underline that ever more strongly. 

On the same page, and onto page 5, the Bypass is described as "not a priority" for the Northern Way Growth Strategy". Ouch.

And the elephant in the room is highlighted further on, making it clear that the "scheme may conflict with ... the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas". This further highlights why High Peak's MP, Tom Levitt, is potentially the biggest environmental vandal in the High Peak and a threat to the first National Park.

The killer line is on page 6. The report identifies that in terms of "strategic justification" the Bypass "is the weakest" - link, goodbye! 

Even better, we learn that 4NW are warning the members that "deferral will increase outturn costs due to inflation". They still voted to dump it though. Expect the costs to continue to climb ever on.

All of this must leave Mike Flynn and Longdendale Siege severely depressed. In last week's Glossop Chronicle, Flynn voiced his frustration at "various government people" that had let them down (join the queue!) . Like the bypass, he too is the weakest link. He's failed, and surely must resign his post if he has any dignity.

But he's right in his final comment in the article "the future of the bypass will be decided at the public inquiry". Indeed, where he's never taken the opportunity to stand up and speak in favour of the scheme. But he's right, that's where the focus moves now. We're sure there's much fun and games in store there...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So I know the Inspector intends to plod on reading non relative evidence,listening to pure assumptions as evidence,and ignoring the absolute reality which a PI is intended to deliberate on.
So the HA is simply cloaked up with a crystal ball assuming their non reality evidence will actually be reality in 5/6/7/or more years time and the Inspector will keep nodding his head in support.