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From: "SchNEWS" (
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 13:34:27 +0000
Subject: SchNEWS 188, 23 November 1998

End of the Road Reunion - Newbury


"I will like the new road when it opens - it will go right through the countryside and it's nice and quiet there" - Child interviewed on TV about the opening of the Newbury bypass (honest!)

Yeah right. With an estimated 25,000 vehicles a day hurtling down four lanes (which in five years will increase to 50,000), it should be the quietest place in Britain. After three years of protests, the Newbury Bypass is nearly complete with only a bit at each end to complete. The Highways Agency (HA)says, "work is on schedule and it will open on time", although, as the Press Officer of W Berkshire complained to SchNEWS. "They (the HA) won't tell me what the opening date is and it's our road. If you find out would you let me know ?" Aside from feeling sorry for press officers, SchNEWS does know that the road will be opening this side of xmas but if you're hoping to attend the opening ceremony, you can't 'cos there won't be one. The HA are shitting themselves there might be a repeat of the 'Newbury Rampage' (SchNEWS 103) where diggers spontaniously combusted and other things broke. Instead they held a 'Childrens Tree Planting Ceremony' a ridiculous televised PR stunt from which the above quote came (the children all came from a local Public school which explains why they were so good at sticking to the script).

The Third Battle of Newbury told us "All the trees were dead, but they planted them anyway. All the trees the HA planted at Twyford Down are now dead." And the vultures are already moving in on the corpse of the forest. Local developers Trencherwood are applying to build a 'commuter village' in the infill (the land that runs alongside a motorway), another wants to build factories and Vodaphone, one of the areas largest employers is threatening to pull out of the town if they can't build shiny new offices amongst the trees.

All this while car over-production continues world-wide. In a sneaky bid to get round an advertising ban on promoting speed. The industry is trying to persuade us faster is good. Honda is currently running an ad that says: "For safer overtaking it has the most powerful engine in its class." And on a motoring program the results of a roadhandling test are supposed to persuade us 'slowing down going round corners makes the car unstable'. Motorists already know that but the way they tell it everyone should buy a faster car.

There is going to be an 'End of the Road Reunion' on Sunday 10th January 99.
For details of this and monthly meetings, tel: 07000 785 201.
P.O. Box 5642, Newbury, Berks RG14 5WG

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