Campaigners build dual carriageway on Osborne’s doorstep

June 23, 2013 by combehavendefenders

Press release
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
Sunday 23 June

Contact 07565 967 250. Photos available from Alamy: http://tinyurl.com/k25d5tm

CAMPAIGNERS BUILD DUAL CARRIAGEWAY ON OSBORNE’S DOORSTEP IN SPENDING REVIEW PROTEST
Money for new roads bad for jobs, countryside and climate say campaigners

Osborne's roads

Photo: Adrian Arbib. http://arbib.org/

12 noon, Sunday 23 June: Anti-road campaigners have built a 50m long dual carriageway next to Chancellor George Osborne’s country retreat this morning, in a protest against the expected funding for new roads in this Wednesday’s (26 June) 2013 Spending Review [2].

Twenty people rolled-out the 8m x 50m road in the grounds of Crag Hall in the Peak District National Park this morning and used giant eight-foot letters to spell out the words “NO NEW ROADS”. Photos are available from photojournalist Adrian Arbib [3].

Osborne moved into “a two-storey building near Crag Hall, a sprawling £4million country estate which is owned by his long-term family friend Lord Derby” earlier this year; “lunches most Sundays” at the nearby Crag Inn pub; and has been a guest at falconry events at the Hall [4]. Reportedly, he “often talks about how brilliant it is to come to the country and enjoy some peace and quiet” [4].

Osborne's roads

Photo: Adrian Arbib. http://arbib.org/

The campaigners – who include an artist, a teacher, a physicist and at least four grandmothers – travelled from Hastings, where peaceful protests against the £100m Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) have already led to 30 arrests and attracted national media attention [5]. The BHLR is the ‘first and the worst’ of over 200 new road-building projects that the Chancellor, Big Business and local councils are currently pushing throughout England and Wales [6]. Mr Osborne is believed to have pressured the Department for Transport (DfT) into funding the BHLR as a test case for Britain’s largest road-building programme in 25 years.

Karl Horton, a spokesperson for the Combe Haven Defenders, one of the groups involved in today’s action, said: “George Osborne is building a pointless and destructive road to nowhere on our doorstep – and is planning to build scores more on other people’s – so today we’ve come and built one on his. His obsession with building new roads is bad for jobs, bad for our countryside and bad for our warming climate. It can – and will – be met with sustained peaceful resistance.”

A “National Rally Against Road Building”, backed by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB, will be taking place in Crowhurst, on the route of the BHLR, on Saturday 13 July [7].

Contact 07565 967 250. Photos available from Alamy: http://tinyurl.com/k25d5tm

NOTES
[1] http://www.combehavendefenders.org.uk
[2] For background see the Campaign for Better Transport’s briefing ‘What the spending review could mean for transport’, http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/blogs/traffic/what_the_spending_review_means_for_transport
[3] www.arbib.org; photos from Sunday’s action are available from Alamy: http://tinyurl.com/k25d5tm
[4] ‘Final nail in your coffin: Chancellor moves into new home as UK stripped of AAA rating’, Sunday Mirror, 24 February 2013, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/george-osborne-bungling-chancellor-moves-1728026
[5] https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/recent-media-coverage/
[6] See http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/campaigns/roads-to-nowhere/map for an online map of the proposals. For background see the Campaign for Better Transport’s October 2012 briefing ‘Going backwards: the new roads programme': http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/media/26-Oct-roads-report. The latter lists 191 projects (more have come to light since then), conservatively costed at £30bn, including 76 bypasses, 56 widened roads, 48 link roads and 9 bridges and tunnels. It also notes that ‘Many of the roads would affect areas protected for conservation, landscape and heritage reasons … incl[uding] three National Parks, the National Wetland of the Norfolk Broads and at least seven Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).
[7] http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/roadsrally2013

Contact 07565 967 250. Photos available from Alamy: http://tinyurl.com/k25d5tm

Osborne's roads

Photo: Adrian Arbib. http://arbib.org/

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