Sunday, 13 December 2015

Those who have been faced with a major road scheme on their doorstep or through a cherished landscape will know what a struggle it is to get consensus between the various groups that spring up, this is made even more difficult by the council or government body promoting the scheme.
The way they do that is rather cunning and has been honed down to a fine art over the last 42 years or so. The first stage is to appoint consultants who do a desktop study of any previous attempts to build the road before. From that an overview of a possible preferred route is worked up and submitted to the authority who commissioned the work.
At this stage its likely word has leaked out to those who could be affected by the works and with luck journalists have taken up the story. Fearful their pet plan could get bogged down by the publicity the commissioning body asks the consultants to work up supposedly less divisive routes for the scheme; those are often given a colour such as the Blue, Green or Yellow option.
So what we have now is the scheme the council or government body want called the preferred or green option and 2 or more alternative route options. This is fine if the preferred option was so horrendous all of the objectors turn their fire on this options but it seldom works like that. Unfortunately opposition falls into the trap of supporting this or that supposedly less damaging option guaranteeing failure at any Public Inquiry.
In most of the 20+ major road schemes from the M42 in 1973 to the A27 Worthing and A33 Newbury of the mid 90’s one thing is clear, opposition must be united to win. But how do you do that?
Simple don’t split campaigning into supporting the least nasty option or worse still over several options. Put all your efforts into campaigning for NO road as often all the options will do the same thing – increase traffic. It’s also likely there will be new development on countryside made accessible by any new road.

A unified opposition and a no road here campaign is more likely to win the battle against the relentless increase traffic and the pollution that shortens our lives and that of the planet.