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Subject: Fw: Road Block first e-bulletin
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 01:32:30 -0000

launch of Roadblock

Road Block launched on 17th January as the residents of Linslade lined up to stop the bulldozers from beginning work on their scheme. With the masses of media attention this produced, we have been flooded with enquiries from around the country. There are more community campaigns out there than we even knew about! We can't wait to help local groups start defeating these road schemes.

At a recent conference the Head of Communications for the Highways Agency identified the resurrection of road protests as his apparent only major challenge for the future. He used a slide featuring the word "Roadblock" to illustrate his point, so they're taking notice.

General info on Road Block can be found at


(1) Road Block national networking conference

(2) Campaign updates: Barnstaple Bypass, Thames Gateway Bridge, Stoke Hammond - Linslade Bypass, Westbury Bypass

(3) Demo at Derby 17/18 March

(4) Transport news

(5) Road Block exhibition of landscapes under threat

(6) Roads to Ruin research



Birmingham, Saturday 4th June (suggested donation £10 per attendee)

The Road Block national networking conference is a unique opportunity to meet with people from around the country who are going through similar experiences of opposing road schemes in their area. It offers a chance to learn from others and to compare strategies and plans for defeating road schemes.

All active campaigners are welcome. Numbers are limited so please book in advance if you would like to come. Contact Road Block (details at end of bulletin) for a booking form and more information.


Barnstaple Bypass

Construction work for the hugely destructive Barnstaple Bypass which would disturb large numbers of seabirds on the Taw and Torridge Estuary, along with the habitat of endangered otters, started on 1st February. This was despite the best efforts of Tony Bown who courageously fought this scheme right up to the Court of Appeal.

Thames Gateway Bridge called in for full Public Enquiry

Campaigners against the Thames Gateway Bridge (otherwise known as the East London River Crossing) were delighted when the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister called-in the plan in January for a full Public Enquiry. Ken Livingstone (who, before elected, said that he would rather be "buried alive in concrete" than approve it and has since gone on to champion the scheme) bizarrely announced on 8th February that he would be giving groups opposing the scheme £50,000 to fight it at the Public Enquiry. This seems generous – until it's contrasted with the £4 million budget that Transport for London has for promoting the scheme.

Stoke Hammond - Linslade Bypass

Local people managed to halt work on this scheme for over a week. Some tree-felling has happened and treehouses have been set up. More people are needed if you can spare some time. See for the latest on the campaign. [site not available 26 Mar 05]

Westbury Bypass

Campaigners against the rejected Westbury Bypass were puzzled to hear that road-crazy Wiltshire County Council is applying for Planning Permission for the scheme. The Bypass was rejected in the 2003 Local Transport Plan bid; it wasn't safe-guarded in the West Wilts District Plan; and Department for Transport LTP Guidance advised Local Authorities not to put in bids for major schemes in the second round of LTPs (2006-2011). Southwest T2000 and the A36/A350 Corridor Alliance are watching very carefully, aware that they can't be complacent, even though they thought they had 'won'.


In the run-up to the G8 summit in Scotland in July, Environment and Development Ministers from the G8 countries are meeting in Derby on 17th and 18th March. The meeting will consider the impact of climate change.

Road Block will be taking banners and having a presence in Derby as we're not letting the UK government off the hook! Current transport policy of more roads and runways completely undermines Tony Blair's proclaimed commitment to action on climate change, as transport is the fastest growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from the UK. Please come along and demonstrate your concern - contact the Road Block office for more info.


Public transport is a major election issue

A You Gov survey for Transport 2000 found that 50% of respondents feel that transport is an important election issue, with 46% of rail passengers saying that they would consider changing their vote. See for more.

M6 toll road in traffic generation shocker!

On January 23rd, the Observer newspaper reported that "The M6 toll route north of Birmingham has dramatically increased the number of vehicles on the very motorway it was designed to unclog (the M6), confirming fears that building more roads simply creates more traffic". This information was revealed in a Parliamentary Question.


The Government is thinking of extending the M6 Toll in a new 51 mile tolled "M6 Expressway" from Birmingham to Manchester. This plan has produced large scale local and national opposition: one government source revealed that, after a consultation period, objections to the plan outnumbered support by 18 to 1. These unwanted consultation responses are due to go on the DfT website in the near future.


From 16th June to 4th September this year, the Tate gallery in London is hosting a very special exhibition called 'A Picture of Britain'. The exhibition will present a comprehensive view of the landscape of Britain and will take place alongside a series of programmes on BBC One, where David Dimbleby will explore the reasons why we cherish the landscape, through showing the pictures, music and writing that it has inspired.

Road Block wants to join in this celebration of the British landscape by holding a parallel exhibition of paintings and photographs of scenes that are under threat from road and runway building. We want to emphasize that these treasured landscapes are still valuable, and cannot be permanently ruined for the sake of 10 minutes off a car journey, or a short-sighted transport policy.

However, to make the exhibition happen we need your help. Firstly, we need the artwork to show in the exhibition! Secondly, we need a venue in London – an exhibition space or café with enough room to show approximately 20 pictures. Thirdly, we need a curator to co-ordinate hanging the pictures and overseeing the work during the duration of the exhibition. Any contacts, particularly in the London art world, welcome.


We are currently compiling an overview of road schemes around the country, based on the format of the excellent 'Roads to Ruin' report produced by Transport 2000, CPRE and Friends of the Earth in 2001.

Your brief answers to the following questions would be greatly appreciated -

* What is the name of scheme that you are opposing?

* What is its environmental impact (eg are any nature reserves or SSSI's under threat)?

* What is the likely contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from traffic on the new road?

* Are there any alternatives to the scheme?

* What is the political picture in the area (eg could it impact on the local MP's majority)?

* What is the proposed length of the road?

* What is the proposed cost of the road?

* What is the likelihood of road being built?

Send us your news! Deadline for next e-bulletin is Monday 21st February.


Road Block
PO Box 164, TOTNES, TQ9 5WX
tel - 01803 847649 / 07854 693067
email -
web -

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