Monday, March 30, 2009

Longdendale Siege are back on the march...

With immaculate timing, and at long last, the Longdendale Siege Committee have updated their website. It seems that nothing spurs them into action like the threat of the collapse of their beloved road.

Linked to from numerous points on the homepage is a three page newsletter, which can be viewed here (opens PDF), which Mike Flynn was seen distributing at weekend. Now we could spend all day taking this document apart, not least because of it's shocking grammar, but we'd rather highlight one or two issues that crop up in it that have been covered here on the blog in the past.

Firstly, you have the reference to the fact that the Smithy Surgery at Hollingworth wrote in to the Public Inquiry to support the bypass. We covered this in August 2007, and pointed out that the Highways Agency's own evidence shows that pollution levels will increase, and that far being from a detailed and reasoned analysis, the GPs preferred to merely state opinions (that they 'were told') rather than facts on an A5-sized compliment slip.

Secondly, the document regurgitates unreferenced & unsourced pollution statistics. We covered this in depth as well back in March 2008, by again outlining in detail how pollution would worsen with the bypass. We also noted that Longdendale Siege were not willing to present this data to the Public Inquiry so it could be subject to scrutiny.

The most laughable part of this document is the threat that direct action will be taken to obtain the road! How we'd love to see that - surely nothing would endear Siege less to their only constituency, the inpatient motorist.

But the most interesting part of the PDF is who's written it. If you go the file properties, it tells you the author is a David Moore. Remember him? Yes, we wrote a long article about this character back in February 2008. Moore is well known to anti-bypass objectors, at one time he frequently wrote in to local papers in support of the road, but what was less well known was that he was project manager for the Tameside MBC sponsored North European Trade Axis (NETA). This was a project to promote a 'trans-European transport network', linking the Humber ports with the Irish Sea ports, bringing HGV traffic from Europe, via Longdendale (& the bypass) to Ireland and back again. The website has since been taken down (how mysterious!), but the links to the pages we provided still work in the Internet Archive - you can view here David's lovely face and his contact details for the NETA project.

Siege are threatening to lobby 4NW - so that tells you who still holds the purse strings in this whole affair. But in the meantime, why not welcome them back by dropping them a line at their new email address - - or give them a call on 07913 034896. Tell them we sent you and blow them a kiss...

1 comment:

Tom Hagen said...

This is gold. 4NW is chaired by Sir Richard Leese who rejected further funding. Now he wants AGMA to fund it instead.

This means that a regional quango funded by central government won't be funding the bypass, but instead AGMA which is funded by Greater Manchester tax payers is OK? This means everyone in Greater Manchester will be paying for the bypass through their council tax.

Funny how AGMA can do this without charging a toll on the roads, but when it comes to improving public transport it is a completely different story.