Campaigners Battle “Zombie Roads” Outside MP’s Office

October 30, 2012 by combehavendefenders

Drawn by the smell of public money, the zombie roads congregate outside local MP Amber Rudd’s office. PHOTO: Milan Rai

Campaigners Battle “Zombie Roads” Outside MP’s Office
Anti-Link Road Campaigners Head for National Conference, as former Tory Transport Minister Condemns New Road Building Programme

More pics on Indymedia here. Short film to follow soon!

Tuesday 30 October: Campaigners against the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) staged a battle between “road busters” and the “zombie roads” outside local MP Amber Rudd’s office this morning, to highlight her role – and that of the chancellor, George Osborne, to whom she is Parliamentary Private Secretary – in promoting unsustainable and environmentally-damaging roads in Hastings and beyond.

The environmentally-disastrous £100m BHLR is one of over forty “zombie roads” that were declared dead years ago but have now been resuscitated as part of Britain’s largest road-building programme in 25 years [2].

Last week, a major report by the Campaign for Better Transport provided details of 191 road projects – conservatively costed at £30bn – that are currently in the pipeline across England and Wales. Over forty of these projects are direct revivals from the Tories’ 1990s ‘Roads for Prosperity’ programme. [3]

In the report’s foreword, Steven Norris – who was the Tories’ Minister for Transport in London in 1992 – writes that “Experience tells us clearly that a massive programme of road building won’t solve [the problems of economic inertia, congested roads and housing shortages] … Investing in effective, affordable and easy to use public transport is part of the solution. So is planning new developments so that they do not rely on cars. Most of all, now is the time for brave and creative decision-making, not a return to the past.”

Stop the Zombie Roads! flier.

Krysia Mansfield, a spokesperson for the Combe Haven Defenders [1] said: “Amber Rudd’s support for the Link Road – an environmentally disastrous white-elephant project that will increase overall traffic levels while derailing sustainable transport alternatives – means that she is currently part of the problem. We urge her to take note of former Tory Transport Minister Steven Norris’ wise words and withdraw her support for the Link Road.”

Following their leader, the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road, the zombie roads shuffle through Hastings town centre, en route to the office of local MP Amber Rudd. PHOTO: Milan Rai.

The campaign against the Link Road was featured in last weekend’s Sunday Times [4]. Several local activists will be travelling to the Campaign for Better Transport’s “Roads to Nowhere” Conference in Birmingham next weekend [5].

Coverage in the Hastings Observer

The Combe Haven Defenders (CHD), are calling on 1,066 people from across the country to “pledge to take part in peaceful resistance to the construction of the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road” [6].

NOTES
[1] www.combehavendefenders.org.uk
[2] See ‘Controversial ‘zombie roads’ scheme to be resuscitated’, Guardian, 10 October 2012, http://tinyurl.com/zombieroads
[3] http://bettertransport.org.uk/media/26-Oct-roads-report
[4] https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/more-national-press-coverage/
[5] http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/campaigns/roads-to-nowhere/conference2012
[6] http://tinyurl.com/signthepledgebhlr

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