Longdendale Siege's Mike Flynn gives the exclusive to this week's Glossop Chronic that he and his chums are planning a novel demonstration next Wednesday morning: they plan to stand at pedestrian crossings along the route of the A57 and A628 throughout Longdendale, constantly activating them in order to create massive tailbacks of traffic between 9.00 and 9.30 a.m. Siege realise that time is running out for Bypass 2.0, since the Comprehensive Spending Review that is due on 20th October may well cut this scheme, as well the original bypass program, which is currently shelved.
This is not a new idea: similar protests were reported in May in Dorset, where some people used the tactic to protest about HGV traffic going through small villages. Now Dorset is one of the few English Counties that has no motorways running through it, and it's not clear that the protestors in that case were calling for new roads to be built. But is must be remembered that Longdendale Siege have continually refused to back calls for a HGV ban along the road, which demonstrates their insincerity about seeking a solution to the problems with congestion.
Of course, the irony is that Longdendale Siege's main constituency has been a mythical one - 'the motorist'. But although we don't believe there is such a thing, from their perspective, it seems a bit daft to alienate those you most rely on for support. If they agree with the government that money is tight, and if they are so desperate, then why not call for a HGV ban? In the Chron article, Flynn mentions the Hattersley Tesco almost as an afterthought, no doubt hoping to attract some passing anger and link the two up.
In the Dorset case, the response to the protest from persons unknown was swift. The button that activated the pedestrian crossing was glued tight. Now there's an idea...