Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TMBC call Bypass 2.0 meetings - but don't give any dates

Some of you may have the seen the rather strange half-page adverts placed by TMBC in last week's Reporter/Chronicle newspapers. Billed as a 'public consultation' about the (almost semi-mythical) Longdendale Integrated Transport System (i.e. Bypass with speed bumps), Tameside have wasted a whole wedge of local taxpayer's money because the notices contained no specific dates. Also strange is the decision to not place similar adverts in the local free papers, which have a much wider circulation. Upon phoning the phone numbers provided, callers are told that the dates are 'to be finalised'. Do they actually want anyone to attend one wonders?

Well word has reached us that said meetings will take place in Hollingworth, Mottram, Broadbottom and Glossop, and today we have learned the dates for Hollingworth - the venue is Hollingworth Church (they need all the help they can get, even though Roy's going to hell) on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th February. More dates/cynicism as we can get it/can be bothered...

UPDATE 28/01/2010: two days after we publish this blog, and Tameside's website bursts into life with info about the LITS. There's now a dedicated website here, and we'll repeat the dates/times for the 'consultations' in all venues/areas:

Saturday 6th FebruaryMottram Community Centre, Church Brow, Mottram-in-Longdendale, Hyde SK14 6JJ (10 am to 5 pm)
Monday 8th FebruaryBroadbottom Community Centre, Lower Market Street, Broadbottom, Hyde SK14 6AA (2 pm to 8.30 pm)
Thursday 11th FebruaryMottram Community Centre, Church Brow, Mottram-in-Longdendale, Hyde SK14 6JJ (2 pm to 8.30 pm)
Friday 12th FebruarySt. Mary’s Church, Hollingworth, Market Street, Hollingworth SK14 8NE (12 pm to 8.30 pm)
Saturday 13th FebruarySt. Mary’s Church, Hollingworth, Market Street, Hollingworth SK14 8NE (10 am to 5 pm)
Friday 19th FebruaryBradbury Community House, Market Street, Glossop, Derbyshire SK13 8AR (12 pm to 8.30 pm)

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 predictions

It's now a tradition of this blog to make some sort of predictions for the coming year, and despite our absence and the relative quietness of the past 6 months, we feel the need to carry on with this convention.

Firstly, as usual, lets look at how successful we were last year:


More Public Inquiry delays. It was delay, delay, delay - even the act of shutting it down was protracted. So we feel that was right, although it was hard to get this bit wrong.

The economic situation worsening. Again, another no-brainer. But this had the maximum effect of making 4NW drop the Longdendale Bypass from their spending plans early in the year.


Everything else! Unfortunately, Roy Oldham has not stood down - although a little bird tells us that he may stand down as the leader of TMBC in 2010 to concentrate on trying to bring about Bypass 2.0. And of course, Geoff Hoon could not act on the bypass because he resigned as Secretary of State in June last year.

Predictions for the coming year:

Whoever is the next High Peak MP will back the bypass. Yes, thanks in no small part to the sterling work done on his expense claims over at the Tom Levitt's Expenses blog, Tom Levitt has decided to call it a day before he lost out to the Tories anyway - we don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that Levitt may be made a peer, but expect it's more likely he will land some corporate post, perhaps connected with a developer, since he has done his best to concrete-ise the High Peak. Will a new face as the Labour candidate mean they retain the High Peak seat? Whatever happens, we expect the winner to back the bypass (we've already blogged about the Tory candidate Andrew Bingham). We'd expect James Purnell to retain his seat, but with a much reduced majority, and we know that the prospective Tory PPC is pro-bypass anyway.

Little progress with Bypass 2.0. Despite all the hullabaloo about this project since the demise of the Highways Agency project, we feel that the emperor has no clothes. TMBC have promised public consultation next year, so expect lots of 'artists impression'-style images of a quiet traffic-free Mottram, but no images of the hell this will cause elsewhere. We plan to do an extensive article about Bypass 2.0 in the New Year.

And that's your lot.