To have your views or letters published here, please e mail them to
admin@heyshamm6link.info

(Maximum of 300 words please)
We will endevour to publish all submissions as long as we do not consider these to be unnecessarily offensive or abusive. TSLM will have the final decision on whether an individual article will or will not appear on the site. The following articles reflect the views and opinions of the contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the TSLM Group.


20th October 2010
M6 road plan divides, not links
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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15th October 2010
Majority against the M6 link road
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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17th September 2010
No proof the link would create jobs
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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17th September 2010
These numbers just don’t add up
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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23rd July 2010
Why are MPs backing M6 link?
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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9th July 2010
High cost of a renewed M6 link
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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30th June 2010
It’s end of the road for now
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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9th June 2010
M6 link may face the chop
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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19th May 2010
A different rule for roads
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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9th April 2010
Is road a luxury we can ill afford?
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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17th March 2010
On the road to tax hell
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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1st January 2010
Where’s the democracy?
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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30th December 2009
Who needs a link road?
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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18th December 2009
Keep it local on decision making
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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16th December 2009
Link bypasses real congestion
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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9th December 2009
Peace will be sacrificed
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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9th December 2009
Trip into town is an ordeal
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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2nd December 2009
Road’s link to flooding risk
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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13th November 2009
Objections still worth making
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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11th November 2009
A bad bypass is not only choice
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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6th November 2009
Time to up link road protest
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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28th October 2009
M6 Link is not what we need
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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21st October 2009
Another victim of link road
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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14th October 2009
What matters the most?
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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7th October 2009
You couldn’t be more wrong
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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25th September 2009
Lune bridge is vital for city
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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23rd September 2009
Wrongheaded M6 link road
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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16th September 2009
From all views bypass is wrong
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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16th September 2009
Destructive and not sustainable
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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21st August 2009
Link has little to recommend it
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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21st August 2009
Freight trains are greenest choice
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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21st August 2009
Link Road will be costly mistake
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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10th August 2009
No heed paid to local opinion
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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7th August 2009
Road will be costly mistake
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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31st July 2009
Heysham Link is wrong track
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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19th June 2009
Cheaper route to link exists
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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19th June 2009
Road to disaster for greenery
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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27th March 2009
Life in the old dogs yet
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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20th March 2009
City’s future has gloomy outlook
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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20th March 2009
Heather’s not so lucky for us
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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6th March 2009
Northern Route falls short
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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27th February 2009
Old programme rings true today
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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18th February 2009
Farce of the Link Road
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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13th February 2009
£133m Reasons to complain
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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10th December 2008
We’ve missed the transport boat
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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3rd December 2008
We’ll be stuck with a road no-one wants
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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14th November 2008
Huge majority against road
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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12th November 2008
We can do better than link road
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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29th October 2008
Minister must know
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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29th October 2008
No way link can cut congestion
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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24th October 2008
We’re on the road to chaos
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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22nd October 2008
In their dreams
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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1st August 2008
County counts the cost here
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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20th June 2008
Halton under Lune worries
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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14th June 2008
This plan can really help us
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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6th June 2008
Great ideas going to waste
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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21st May 2008
Link road not the solution we need
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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14th May 2008
Our bypass will bypass nothing
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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11th April 2008
Forget the toads and newts...
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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11th April 2008
Back our link road heroes
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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26th March 2008
Link must be county’s worst ever mistake
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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14th March 2008
Link is waste of money
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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12th March 2008
Keep up the link opposition
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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12th March 2008
I still don’t believe the link has won approval
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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7th December 2007
Will politicians ever listen?

Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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7th November 2007
All this and no talk of link road?
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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20th April 2007
Protest now or live to regret

Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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4th April 2007
Climate chaos is already here
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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21st March 2007
Look again at the whole issue
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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14th March 2007
Pie in the sky
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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9th March 2007
County not as green as it says

Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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2nd March 2007
Road Inquiry offers hope for disgruntled residents

Reproduced courtesy of Planning Magazine (www.planningresource.co.uk)

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2nd March 2007
Local people know best

Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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28th February 2007
A £137 million waste of cash
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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14th February 2007
A massive imposition
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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9th February 2007
No peace once road is built

Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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9th February 2007
Sinful waste of public money

Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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7th February 2007
Road Link would be a complete disaster
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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2nd February 2007
Commonsense traffic solution

Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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3rd January 2007
In a pickle over jams
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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13th December 2006
We’re not being offered a bypass
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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8th December 2006
Sham of link consultation
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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6th December 2006
Northern road to nowhere
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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5th December 2006

Dear TSLM
I was just about to email Ozzie Knight, Ruth Kelly etc to object to the M6-Heysham bypass when I noticed that, in the list of reasons you give for us to put down as possible objections to the HM6 road, you include the following: It does nothing for regeneration in Luneside and Bailrigg, and leaves the University unconnected from North Lancaster & Morecambe.
This leads me to conclude that you and your organisation support the Western bypass Is this true? If not, could you delete the above objection from your list so that there can be no confusion on this matter?
I am against both routes, for the reasons given in your own site: that neither will reduce congestion, both are environmentally damaging, both damage the quality of life of all Lancastrians, and both are totally pointless.  I think you should make it clear that you do not support the Western route either, otherwise you will find that people like me who would like to be active supporters of your group are turned off by the suggestion/implication that you would find the Western route acceptable.
Yours sincerely,
Julia Harrison
December 05, 2006

Dear Julia,
We certainly do not support the "Western Bypass". We oppose the Heysham M6
Link Road in all its forms, Northern, Western, "Blue" or any alternative route.

This is fundamental to us. The Council believe they can solve congestion by building another road (they argue about the route). We believe road building encourages more cars onto the road and leads to pollution, emissions, global warming. And it leads to more congestion, so is self-defeating, having destroyed the countryside and created car-dependency. It is significant that local politicians' roadbuilding urges are contradicted by the stated views of national politicians. For example, on 30 October Nicholas Stern's warnings on emissions were endorsed by Blair, Cameron & Campbell. Two days later, Lancashire County> Council Development Control Committee, comprising the 3 main parties, voted for this polluting, emission-generating road scheme.

Of course, this gives us hope. And is an important reason why we are
asking people to write now to regional & national powers (GONW, DfT) which
are less blinkered than those at County level.

Our arguments are many; however, they are not isolated soundbites, but form a coherent whole. We attack the road scheme because it fails to meet its stated aims, and it fails to meet other aims which it should be addressing.

Stated aims:
1. Reduce congestion on Lune Bridges: but on other roads, traffic goes up,
and where it is forecast to reduce, that's on day 1, and all
experience is that traffic returns quickly to "before" levels, due to
release of suppressed demand.
2. Regenerate Heysham & Morecambe: but the figures are bogus and the
arguments are illusory: there's no proof that a new road brings more
business, and can just as easily suck business out of an area (SACTRA 1999)
3. Allow modal shift by creating space for public transport, cycling etc:
but in practice modal shift could be tried now, without the road, or the
traffic reductions are so slight as to make no difference
4. Serve Heysham Port: yes, it does this, but less than 3% of traffic in the
area is port-related (a big public gift to one industry).

Other aims which it fails to address (symmetrically):
1. Congestion in the rest of the area, caused by local commuter traffic, particularly Lancaster City Centre (forecast reductions: nil). This is the big issue that should be addressed: solutions - choose from: quality buses, community rail, trams, trolleybuses, ultra light rail (ULR), school buses, cycling, walking....
2. Regeneration of the whole district, including Luneside & Bailrigg, not by roads but by: freeing up roadspace (as 1 above), strategic HGV routes, freight on rail, consolidated distribution...
3. Modal shift: real progress on soft modes, as 1 above, travel plans, car
share & car clubs... (rather than the absurd suggestion that building a road
encourages modal shift).
4. Serve the whole community by protecting our environment (Green belt,
wildlife, people, future generations), making the area a pleasant place in
which to live and move.

I hope you will now write to the GONW, Ruth Kelly, Douglas Alexander &
Geraldine Smith. And please encourage any like-minded friends to do so
too.

Best wishes,
TSLM
December 06, 2006



Dear TSLM,

Thank you very much for your comprehensive answer, and I couldn't agree more with the points you make.  I shall now write to the relevant people, and yes, I would like to be on your contact list and be involved in the campaign against this road.
Best wishes,
Julia
December 07, 2006

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17th November 2006
College faces years of noise
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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8th November 2006
Stern words for decision makers
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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1st November 2006
Remind people why we say no
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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29th September 2006
Official: Road of no benefit
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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29th September 2006
Link exposed as pointless
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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27th September 2006
Now we know the truth....
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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20th September 2006
Park & Ride is the only way forward
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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15th September 2006
Planners have it in for us
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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16th August 2006
Read small print to see the true story
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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16th August 2006
Beware road to nowhere
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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11th August 2006
New bypass is unwanted
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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9th August 2006
Time to pause for thought

Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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17th May 2006
Students learn to loathe the Link

Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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26th April 2006: Don’t blame the objectors, blame the plan.

A decision on the controversial Heysham M6 Link road has been deferred to June or August (Visitor, 12 April).
Cllr Martin, cabinet member for sustainable development, blames the delay on people being slow to read the document and respond. But the real blame lies with plan itself. Everyone can see that it is a damaging scheme that will not solve our congestion problems.

The fact is that County is stunned by the massive opposition that has greeted the planning application for this controversial road.

  • The Environment Agency has objected to the design of the bridge over the Lune at Halton. It will have to be redesigned. 
  • English Heritage has severely criticised the application.
  • Lancaster & Morecambe College and Sport England have objected to the loss of playing fields and car parking.
  • The local MP opposes the scheme.
  • Over 500 members of the public have objected because they have not been consulted on this non-performing road.

Because of this, 16 City Councillors voted in March for a public inquiry, so that the people’s voice can be heard.
In an unusual move, which Cllr Martin fails to mention, the Government Office for the North West has ordered County not to grant itself planning permission without reference to it. This could well be a step on the way to the much needed public inquiry.
Don’t blame the objectors, blame the plan. The Northern route plan has divided the district in every sense. LCC should scrap it now and introduce non-damaging alternative ideas that will really tackle our congestion problems.

Dorothy Hilton,
Torrisholme

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21st April 2006
Wasting money on this route
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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12th April 2006
We do not need a link
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen

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3rd April 2006 - Implement cheaper, non-damaging alternatives now

We at Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe find Cllr Barker’s views on solving the district’s traffic problems, expensive, damaging and unrealistic. He supports spending £118 million (and soon to rise significantly) on the Northern Link route, which is set to destroy the North Lancashire Green Belt, yet he admits the road is not the answer to our congestion problems. Next, to reach the main regeneration area south of the river, he wants to spend a great deal more money on another bridge to Luneside. Whilst all this is going on he wants to spend yet more money on Park& Ride and public transport improvements.

The Northern Link road plan is now turning into an embarrassment, surrounded by controversy and objections, and rejected by independent City Councillors. The road planners are having to make expensive changes to the plan to satisfy the major concerns raised by the Environment Agency. In an unusual move, the Government Office for the North West have ordered Lancashire County Council not to grant itself planning permission without reference to them. This could well be a step on the way to the much needed public inquiry.

Cllr Barker’s idea of lavishing more money on a second bridge is pretty much a non starter: it would be expensive and the government is very unlikely to grant money to a bridge scheme which dumps more traffic onto an already congested Scale Hall. Particularly when the transport budget has been blown on the Northern Link.

It does not however surprise us that Cllr Barker wants to talk about Park & Ride, and improved public transport for the district. They are constructive ideas which many other historic towns have long since implemented. Other viable measures could include freight on rail, community rail, consolidated distribution, and school buses. The simple fact is there are many cheaper and non damaging alternatives to road building. We want these measures to be implemented before they even consider covering the countryside with concrete.

Park & Ride on Caton Road would be an excellent idea, and the County Council talk about a bus lane along Caton Road. A third lane could be created by narrowing the pavements, but this could happen without a Link Road. In Lancaster City centre, traffic reductions with the Northern Link road are so slight that almost no space would be created for non-car solutions. On Morecambe Road, bus lanes could be extended by widening the road, not by waiting for the Link road to bring a small traffic reduction.

Alternative transport systems could and should be introduced now. They are independent of a Link road, and separately funded. Talk of a “package” is a misleading attempt to tie the underperforming Link road to sensible alternative transport measures which can be supported by everyone. If, as most people believe, the Link is going to be halted by a public inquiry, why don’t we agree to move forward with the cheaper and realistic alternatives?

David Gate
TSLM

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1st April 2006 - Lancaster & Morecambe College Traffic

Dear TSLM

I am writing to express my concern about the loss of approximately 180 car parking spaces at the College, if the Link road goes ahead.
Endsleigh Grove1Anyone who uses the college will be aware of the difficulty in finding somewhere to park. If there are 180 fewer spaces where are people going to park? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that students & staff will park on residential streets, which will no doubt irritate local residents.
Residents on Endsleigh Grove had an insight into this problem 2 weeks ago, when there was a Cross-country event, on the Saturday morning, at the college.
Every available stretch of pavement was covered by cars belonging to families attending the event, with nowhere for residents to park. Endsleigh Grove2There was congestion as cars tried to turn round in the cul-de-sac bottleneck, and then there was no room for cars to pass each other. Cars parked dangerously close to the junction with Torrisholme Road, where visibility is poor at the best of times & accidents are narrowly missed every day. As a one-off, local residents can put up with this inconvenience. However, if it becomes a daily occurrence, children will not be able to play out safely and residents & their visitors will have great difficulty parking.

This Link Road will adversely affect a far greater number of people than it will benefit. The Council needs to look at the wider picture & stop chasing these out dated pipe dreams.
Keep up the campaign!

Andrea Brook

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31st March 2006
Bypass plan is sadly mistaken
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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31st March 2006
Tram would be on right track
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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20th March 2005 - Intelligent traffic management?

We read that the Leader of the City Council, Cllr Barker, has asked for talks with Lancashire County Council about public transport improvements, park and ride, HGV routing and a Luneside bridge. This demonstrates that the Council are not convinced that the £118 millon Link road to Heysham port will deal with the congestion problem or help regeneration south of the river. It also shows that the Council have put the cart before the horse, rushing to spend a fortune on a destructive and non performing road before sustainable alternatives have been implemented. Surely it should have tried the many non-road building alternatives before, not after, planning this unpopular road.

Top of Cllr Barker’s wish list is a bridge to Luneside. This was the City Council’s condition for supporting the Northern route scheme: everyone can see that the Northern route makes no sense without it. The problem is that they are unlikely to get funding for a public road bridge, because it would dump more traffic onto an already congested road; that’s quite apart from the environmental problems.

Cllr Barker wants to “make use of road space freed up by the link”: but this will be small, in Lancaster City Centre almost non-existent, and will fill up with cars pretty quickly, before you can say “sustainable transport”.

Given that the Northern route has not yet received planning permission or government funding, these are very telling admissions. Cllr Barker talks about investing in ‘intelligent traffic management’: amen to that. But to achieve “intelligent traffic management” they will have to scrap the controversial Northern route and start again.

David Gate

TSLM

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1st March 2006:

Below is an extract relating to the Heysham M6 link (Northern Route), taken with kind permission from:

Why I'm Leaving Labour, by Simon Robinson

(Simon’s full letter can be viewed by clicking the title above)

.......But for me the real killer is that at a local level, in Lancaster, our Labour Councillors appear to have gone in an equally anti-environmental, anti-progressive, direction. In particular over the current big local issue, the proposed building of a link road around the North of Lancaster (more information at http://www.heyshamm6link.info/). The local Labour party and Labour councillors want to spend, perhaps £100 million, building a big dual carriageway that will shave perhaps 10 minutes off the jouneys of lorries travelling between the M6 and Heysham Port and will likely have minimal effect on traffic in Lancaster City Centre. It's back to the old Thatcherite 'solution' of covering the country with tarmac in the vain hope that that will solve traffic congestion.

It has I think been obvious - and has been recognized by the Government for some time (at least in words, perhaps not in actions), that a transport policy that is based on encouraging greater car use, is unsustainable - and will simply cause greater environmental damage and greater greenhouse emissions. There seems no doubt that the Heysham M6 Link Road, as presently planned, will increase car usage - because it will shift the balance of convenience for many local journeys from public transport towards cars, The road is not consistent with a sustainable transport policy, and will seriously damage a large part of the local environment to the North of Lancaster. I frequently drive in the area myself so I'm well aware of the frustrations caused by too much traffic on roads (the area from just south of Lancaster city centre to just east of Morecambe is invariably extremely congested) - and I know how easy it is to just say 'let's build another road' to ease congestion. But I also know that in the long term that approach almost never works; it just induces more traffic and you end up a decade later with more roads that are just as jammed up as before, plus now an even worse environment for all the local inhabitants. I'd love to see everyone able to travel wherever they like and not have to suffer the kind of congestion and traffic jams that we see every day both in Lancaster and nationally. But the sad fact is that as long as our society and transport system are so dominated by car-culture, and public transport is relatively so poor, those traffic jams are inevitable and will occur no matter how many new roads are built. The UK is simply too densely populated for a transport policy that's based on continually expanding the road network to meet demand to ever work - because at the UK level of population density, demand always expands to match the increased capacity. And such a policy also sends the message that the authorities are not serious about the quality of life, the environment or - in particular - global warming issues. I'd much rather have seen the Labour Party, Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council all take much more seriously the question of making public transport more convenient (there are a huge number of local ideas for how to do that in Lancaster, all of which appear to be being ignored by the Labour Councillors). That's where the money that Lancashire County Council is proposing to spend on roads would be better spent.

As long as our society and transport system are so dominated by car-culture, and public transport is relatively so poor, those traffic jams are inevitable and will occur no matter how many new roads are built

The link road is incidentally the reason why, despite still being a member of the Labour Party at the time, I couldn't bring myself to help out in last year's general election. I was too busy with work anyway during the early part of the campaign, but managed to clear out the week before the election to help leafleting etc. Then just as my 'free' week came up, in through my letter box dropped leaflets from the Labour candidates for the simultaneous council elections - fairly prominently proclaiming their support for the road. Those leaflets instantly killed my plans to help the Labour campaign, and I even ended up as a result voting Green as a one-off protest vote (I was very sad to do so as I did think highly of Anne Sacks, the Labour Parliamentary candidate).
I know the local Labour councillors are probably just trying to do their best as human beings to solve some very complex problems, and with competing pressures from many different groups, but the so-called 'solution' they've come up with shows zero understanding of the broader environmental issues, a lack of imagination for alternative solutions, and no consideration for wider and long term quality of life. And in my view it has little in common with the values of the Labour Party that I thought I joined 20+ years ago.

Simon Robinson
Computer Programmer, Author,
ASP Today Editor-in-Chief

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24th February 2006

Well done City Councillors for voting against this expensive mistake

I am writing to thank and congratulate the city councillors who voted against the building of the Heysham M6 Link Road (City Council Planning meeting 20th February). It shows that more and more people are realising that it would be a very expensive mistake, making little or no difference to local congestion, and really only serving the port of Heysham. It is unlikely that the link road would have been considered if it wasn’t for the port.

But I suppose it might have its compensations. If you need a dentist, a library or public toilet, it might take a couple of minutes off your journey to try your luck in another town!

And think of the cockle pickers. It may be slightly easier for them and their wagons to get in and out of Morecambe. It’s to be hoped that the visitors that are supposed to come flooding into Morecambe if the road is built, will enjoy that sight.

The £118 million plus would go a long way to sort out our local traffic congestion by more sustainable means. And how many millions more because the bridge at Halton must be redesigned due to flood risk?

It is absolutely unthinkable to have a 70 mph dual carriageway, 26 ft high through Torrisholme, rising to 43 ft over the railway line near the crematorium, all topped by 33 ft lighting.

Even if you’re not bothered about all the pollution and irreversible destruction of green belt, and you think it won’t affect you because you don’t live near it – think again. You’ll probably be able to see it from the moon!

The vast majority of people from all over the area are opposed to this route. So object to Lancashire County Council now before it’s too late – it’s your money they’re wasting.

Dorothy Hilton
Torrisholme Resident

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22nd February 2006
Misery caused by bypass -
a letter from Councillor Eve Ashworth, Torrisholme
Reproduced courtesy of Lancaster & Morecambe Newspapers Limited

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18th November 2005

Dear TSLM,

Regarding the LCC Torrisholme further exhibition:
The amended proposal is tokenistic, the fundamental issues still remain. They are proposing to spend millions £s of public money on a road solution that is against the majority of wishes of local people, it will not resolve inner traffic problem, indeed it will compound them, and it will destroy natural habitat in the making.

D Flynn

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18th November 2005
Solution lies in Park-and-ride
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian

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28th October 2005
What a waste of £118m
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian 28.10.2005

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28th October 2005
Road is totally unacceptable
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian 28.10.2005

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28th October 2005
We don’t want any of this link
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian 28.10.2005

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19th October 2005
Councils want it both ways
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen 19.10.2005

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7th October 2005
Northern link isn’t the answer
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian 7.10.2005

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26th September 2005

The recent HGV spillage at Ovangle Road roundabout caused much comment in the Visitor.
Firstly, the roundabout and the speed of the lorry are blamed for the accident. But the plans for the Link Road show two major roundabouts, near the A6 at Slyne, and at Halton. If HGVs overturn at Ovangle roundabout with a speed limit of 30 mph, what are the chances of this awful accident happening more frequently on the proposed Link Road, where speed limits on approaching these new roundabouts would be set at 70 mph?
Secondly, I live north of the river and I am frustrated by the traffic congestion on Morecambe & Torrisholme Roads. But I have spent a lot of time researching the proposed Link Road, and do not believe that it would reduce congestion significantly to/from Lancaster.
LCC’s own figures show that the Link Road will not solve Lancaster’s congestion. Less than 3% of traffic crossing the Lune Bridges is travelling between Heysham Port & the M6. The Link Road will certainly not be a magic wand to make all the queuing traffic disappear. Even Tony Martin, cabinet member for transport, admits that this is not an inner Lancaster relief road.
Finally, Mr Baxter’s letter mentions the environmental issues of having marine fuel in local drainage systems. But building this Link Road would cause irreparable damage to our environment, our wildlife and the lives of local people. He tells us to think of the common good. I do, and I want to leave beautiful countryside as my legacy for generations to come, not a concrete & tarmac monstrosity.

Mr M Brook, North Lancaster

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19th September 2005

Sir,

We refer to County Councillor Jean Yates’ comment in the last issue of the Visitor. We assume that the quote is accurate, she said, “ but the simple fact is that it ( the Northern route) has been on the deeds of houses in Torrisholme since 1969 so they’ve all known about it for quite some time”.

This statement would have come as news to the local legal conveyancing community, as well as residents, but it is in fact incorrect. No such notification exists on title deeds. A local land charges search may, in certain circumstances, have revealed past road schemes but this is not part of the title deeds. The Northern route, as we now know it, would not have been revealed until recently.

Councillor Yates was in charge of this controversial project for Lancashire County Council, and as such the public is entitled to expect a high standard of care from the major proponent of the scheme. This is particularly the case in Torrisholme where the road would cut the community in two with a polluting dual carriageway on a 20ft high embankment, with lights 30ft above that, subjecting the residents to perpetual twilight and noise. Furthermore the £118 million scheme would fail to tackle congestion and see the total destruction of the surrounding countryside, all to promote an economically unsubstantiated and speculative business argument.

Councillor Yates states that that everyone in Torrisholme has known about the Northern route for quite some time, (since 1969), actually Lancashire County Council took the decision to proceed with the plan on 2nd September 2004, when the Council Cabinet abandoned the preferred Western route in favour of the Northern route. Detailed plans of the ‘monster road’ came later in Spring 2005.

This kind of advice to a community from a County Councillor will do nothing to reduce the 76% public opposition to the road. Councillor Yates should retract her comment and apologise to the people of Torrisholme and the thousands of others living with the nightmare along the route.

James & Karen Seddon, Green Lane, Lancaster.

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19th September 2005

Dear TSLM,

In the Visitor last week, Clr Langhorne wrote that the justification for the (Heysham M6 Link) road is the economic regeneration of the district.
But when I read the Council's "Economic Impact Report" which makes this claim, two words spring to mind: Wishful Thinking.
The Council calculates that 6014 jobs will be created on 6 sites. But the sums are bogus. It claims: available land exists, if the road is built, the land will fill with jobs. But it doesn't say how.
Some sites have problems with land contamination: who will pay for the clean-up?
And how many jobs will be lost, as outside businesses can serve the district more easily?

Lancaster Business Park is being developed now. But the take-up of land has been low (1.5 hectares out of 8 ha between 1998 and 2004). So access to the motorway does not mean that available land will be developed.
Tourism? We'd love to see it increase. But it depends more on local attractions, weather, and cheap flights abroad, rather than journey times through Lancaster.

The recent business survey found that most businesses had difficulties recruiting staff. By far the biggest reason given was the lack of applicants with the right skills. Lack of skills - not lack of a link road.
We all want regeneration. But the idea that it will come on the back of HGVs thundering down the link road is pure fantasy.

Let's get real - invest in local businesses and skills rather than this £118 million white elephant.

David Gate

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16th September 2005
This is a road we don’t need
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian 16.9.2005

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14th September 2005
New road will mean no progress
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen 14.9.2005

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13th September 2005

I would just like to thank TSLM and Mandy Kendall in particular for organising the 'Walk the Route' event on Sunday 4th September. The weather was glorious and everyone was in good spirits as we set off on our short but eye-opening walk.

I have been involved with the group since the beginning and I am aware of the facts & figures regarding the scheme. However, Mandy had marked out the width of the link road where it would cross the canal near Torrisholme and the new roundabout was also marked out in pastureland at Beaumont Gate. It is only when you can visualise the scale of the road that the true horror really sinks in. I could not visualise how high the road would be at 19 metres behind Russell Drive - I can now that I know 19 metres is above bedroom window height. Who wants to open their curtains in a morning and look up at a 4 lane dual carriageway?

There were many new faces on the walk, and it is encouraging to see that as people become aware of these plans & realise that they will not improve Lancaster's congestion, they are joining TSLM in opposing the road. We must all keep up the fight and not rest on our laurels. We need to take a deep breath & get ready for the big battle at the planning application stage which is due to be submitted at the end of the year . We have been hugely successful so far, so there is no reason why we shouldn't get this road stopped.

Thanks again, Mandy - the event was extremely well planned & enjoyed by all.

Andrea Brook

(If you weren't on the walk but want to look at the plans closely to see the effects it will have on your environment, please follow the link from 'The Road' section on the website.)

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10th August 2005
Link makes no difference
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen 10.8.2005
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5th August 2005

I have lived with my parents on Morecambe Road for 18 years now, and strongly feel the need for something to be done about the heavy traffic that passes through on a daily basis, on there way to Heysham.
Firstly, the traffic situation on the Greyhound bridge has steadily got worse; I can not think of a day when there has not has been a traffic jam on the bridge; should we allow the situation to worsen, or act now, so that something can be done to help stop the situation, and the annoyance of being stuck in a traffic jam, and possibly being late for whatever reason?
Secondly, they hurtle down Morecambe Road at 40mph, when it is a 30mph speed limit, this makes it increasingly difficult for my parents to get out of the drive; as well as the increasing traffic loads; so the link is a must for me and my parents.
I feel that this has been put off too long, and something needs to be done now, don’t you think so?
Ann Maynard

TSLM Response:

Dear Ann,

You don't say which part of Morecambe Road you live on. I have been looking at Lancashire County Council's forecasts of traffic for 2010, with and without the Heysham M6 Link.
If you live between Carlisle Bridge and Ovangle Road, traffic is forecast to go down by 16.5%, if the road is built.
If you live between Ovangle Road and McDonald's roundabout, traffic is forecast to go down by 12.8%.
If you live between McDonald's roundabout and the Shrimp, traffic is forecast to go UP by 27.6%.

So on some roads traffic will go down, on others it will go up. And where it's forecast to go down, that's only on the day the new road opens. But we all know that new roads encourage more traffic, people are more likely to jump into their cars. Add that to "normal" traffic growth. Each year, traffic will increase again, until very shortly all roads, including Morecambe Road, will be just as congested as now. You and your parents and all the people of Lancaster & Morecambe will have the same problems as now. Then the planners will be looking for a bypass of the bypass.

So the "Lancaster Bypass" is not the answer to all our problems, as many people would have us believe. It won't solve the biggest problem, which is traffic in and between Lancaster & Morecambe, which is about 80% of the total. That needs much more imaginative ideas covering a whole range of solutions, and that is what TSLM is looking at now.

David Gate

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20th June 2005

Dear David,
Whilst I am against the Northern Bypass, I still want the council to proceed with the Western Bypass, which two thirds of the people (who voted), voted for. It is the only viable option - I know £85 million will buy a lot of bus rides but we still need our cars, and it wont stop hundreds of lorries per day to & from the port and 90% of these are coming and going south- this is a bigger problem than a few newts should stop.
Do your best
Bob Dixon
Morecambe Rd (next to College)

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10th June 2005
Bypass isn’t the answer
Reproduced courtesy of the Lancaster Guardian 10.6.2005
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22nd May 2005 : TSLM Response to Roger Bunn (below)

Roger raises a number of points that many other people have raised over the years of various link road proposals.It is not our intention to dismantle each point individually – this would get everybody bogged down.

TSLM’s approach to the problem is threefold:

  • The nature of the transport problem needs properly and formally stating. Two basic starting points are the need for local people to be able to get around the area easily, comfortably and cheaply with reliable journey times, and for good, freight and people to access Morecambe and Heysham in order to assist in the economic regeneration of the peninsula. We call upon the Council to state this formally so that people are clear about the outcomes and objectives of any proposed transport scheme. How can a solution be found if no-one says what the problem is?
  • Once this is done, the “solution” is not going to be a simple single scheme – this is just not how managing traffic and transport works. People travel for different reasons in different ways at different times. Whatever will comprise the solution will need to take into account this variety, and also be ready to deal with future changes which would result from future local development. The Council are proposing a road as a solution. We are calling for a plan of a number of complementary elements that together provide a better way forward for the area. Why? Because that is what is now done elsewhere, and which, in the short, medium and long term actually works.
  • The Council has a responsibility to consider packages of solutions to tackle the problem. Building a road is one of many solutions – it’s just that the others are not simple “off the peg” schemes. How can a real choice be made if there are no options presented to the public? 

The TSLM exhibition outlined a range of elements of a solution that we think should be considered – not because we cooked up the ideas in the pub one night, but after investigating and considering things that are already working somewhere else in the UK; if they are working elsewhere – would they work here?
Many people mentioned how much easier it is to travel when the schools are on holiday. This suggests that actively promoting school travel plans would be worthwhile – but clearly is not the only solution, and so needs to be put into the mixing pot with lots of other elements.
One of the main “planks” of our suggestions is the adoption of a confident “Smarter Choices” agenda – people with real choices as to how they can make journeys. If Roger doesn’t think these will work, why are most other Local Authorities giving them a central role in their Local Transport Plans for the next 5 years? It could be that, based on hard evidence from the UK, they are shown to be very effective at reducing congestion – by up to 20% - and cost a fraction of large capital schemes such as roads. This is not TSLM’s posturing – it’s proven policy.
At the meeting, we debated for some time Roger’s point that we are fighting a losing battle and that people are increasingly jumping in their cars, and that they have a right to do so. Firstly, they are doing so because the alternatives to car use are seen as being (and all too often are) poor quality, expensive or unreliable. When people are given real choices, usually through good transport planning, many will choose to not use their car all or some of the time. Again, it’s not TSLM saying this – it’s proven. For instance, look at “making travel plans work”
(
www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_control/documents/contentservertemplate/dft_index.hcst?n=9846&l=2)
 
to see that it is now quite normal for good travel plans to produce a 20% switch away from car use for the journey to work. Fortunately, most people know what is good for them.
Secondly, in Travel planning, there is the 20-60-20 rule of thumb which emerges time after time – 20% of people are already using alternatives to the private car most of the time and 20% are hooked on their car or need to use it for some reason. Fortunately, 60% of people are more than happy to change how they travel at least some of the time if they have the opportunity to do so. Successful transport planning focuses on the 60%.
It is not the role of TSLM to put together a closely argued, cost-benefit analysis of all possible solutions to the area’s traffic and transport problems – it is the Council’s. If other places are doing it – and producing much more vibrant, high quality living and working places through creative travel planning – why are we lumbered with an authority which is obsessed with building a road? Build a road, and the 60% will drive even more. Do the other things, and they will finally have opportunities not to have to. I know which most of the people at the exhibition prefer. Those that weren’t there have never been given the option to choose. TSLM want them to have that option. It’s not complicated.

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18th May 2005 : Letter to TSLM

The exhibition was well presented and did a really good job at explaining the road and the implications however the name TSLM implies that this exhibition would give alternatives.
How disappointing that the alternatives did not include an alternative bypass, either the Southern or the defunct Western routes.
Alternatives offered include a tram or light rail link from Heysham to Galgate via Morecambe and Torrisholme, why? There is a perfectly good bus service that connects the University, Lancaster and Morecambe every ten minutes during the day, indeed Lancaster and Morecambe have twelve services each hour. Manchester, Sheffield, and Nottingham all have trams, have you tried getting into these city centres recently, they are just as blocked up as Lancaster.
It is also proposed to put regional freight on to rail. It is acknowledged that the West Coast main line is already reaching breaking point. The line from Bare Lane to Heysham is a single line with a run-round at Morecambe to negotiate. To make the line capable of taking the proposed extra freight trains would cost millions and achieve very little.
Also proposed is a redesign of the one way system in Lancaster, it isn’t the one way system that’s at fault, it is the amount of traffic trying to use it and a bypass will help to relieve it.
TSLM also want to create van and lorry lanes to the M6 by sharing the bus lanes. So now we will have slow lumbering lorry’s and white van man holding up the buses that are supposed to be part of the alternative solution, Come on TSLM make up your mind about what you really want.
TSLM say that Heysham only produces 2% of traffic going to the motorway in the rush hour, maybe so, however there are a lot of people living on the North side of the Lune who go to the M6 every day and would use the link road taking congestion away from Lancaster.
What’s the real answer? I do agree that the Northern bypass is a poor option, either the defunct Western or Southern route direct to Junction 33 are a must. Redesigning junction 33 to cope with the extra traffic must be cheaper and easier than Junction 34
We must also accept that as long as people have cars they are going to use them even for the shortest of journeys. We all expect someone else to catch the bus or train so we can have the road to ourselves.
And me, what gives me the right to rant on? I live within 150 yards of the proposed Northern route and I drive a car 40000 miles a year earning my living as a sales manager and have been waiting for the propose route to the M6 for the last eighteen years. I should be retired by the time it’s built.
Roger Bunn
Torrisholme

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1st May 2005

Dear David

I have read your newsletter with interest and wish to make one very obvious comment.
I am not a traffic expert and have not really formed an opinion yet on the proposed link road, however I believe the aim of all parties involved is to reduce traffic in Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham. One obvious way of doing this is to reinstate school buses - there is a very clear difference in the volume of traffic between term times and school holidays.
Wouldn't this option be very much cheaper than any new road, have an immediate effect towards reducing traffic, ensure children get to school safely, and allow those of us who do not have to consider the school run to travel with less delay and stress - maybe this small step towards a solution is too obvious for our Local Council to see??
I do not suggest that it would solve all the problems but I could see that it would provide immediate and relatively cheap benefits, without any further detriment to quality of life, to all those who reside or travel through the areas which would be affected.
Regards
Debbie Hurst

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28th April 2005

Regarding Geraldene Smiths' letter,she states the blindingly obvious when she says the northern route is by far the least favorable. And as for writing to local residents suggesting a course of action, well shes a bit
late on that one. Where has she been for the last few months whilst the TSLM group have been getting up and running and planning their own course of action.
I think she is fudgeing the issue about whether she will support the link road or not Saying it is the least favourable is not the same as fighting for it to be stopped and could, in fact be interpreted as weakly in favour of the road.
I for one will be voting for someone who,s policies clearly come down in favour of stopping this road.
regards
Alan Hutchinson

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23rd April 2005

Dear TSLM, its true that Torrisholme will have to suffer the worst of this massive road, but spare a thought for North Lancaster. When the road opens, Morecambe folk who want to get into Lancaster and people from Lancaster who need to get to Morecambe for school or work, will choose to use the concrete nightmare via the A6, to try and avoid the traffic calmed chaos of Scale Hall. The result will be logjam on the A6 in Skerton as the traffic backs up from the old bridge.
The A6 is a very narrow road with Victorian Terraces close up to the road, cars park partly on the pavement on one side (but not for long) and the pavements are so narrow you have to step into the road if a mother is pushing her pram. At the schools there is the usual pickup and drop off chaos with children running out into the road. When the new road comes there will be a recipe for disaster.
If the traffic were moving at all the Council would be obliged to calm it --- Scale Hall style, with pedestrian crossings and traffic lights for the Vale rat runners. The result, gridlock at peak times and much busier at other times. Pollution, both exhaust and noise will be inflicted on the residents and the community will be split in half. I asked Lancashire County Council for peak time roadside exhaust measurements and their projections post new road but they have not troubled me with a reply.
This new road is purely and simply a link for Heysham to the M6 it is not designed to solve the in town traffic chaos, the people of Lancaster and Morecambe have been badly let down by the impulsive behaviour of Lancashire County Councils Cabinet who rushed the scheme through last August Bank Holiday without proper consultation. Good luck TSLM we will fight this all the way!
James Seddon, North Lancaster.

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15th April 2005

The Secretary of State for transport asks us (rightly) to use our cars less. The school run affects us particularly in this area. Locals all know the traffic problems hardly exist when it’s the school holidays.
But its not going to encourage people to let their children walk to school in Torrisholme under a dirty, noisy underpass which they will have to share with students trying to get to college.Will wagon drivers really use this unwanted road or, will they take shorter options like they do now by using the road up to Asda, rather then going on to the roundabout at McDonalds?
We all know people go to learn to drive on the finished part of the bypass because it’s always so empty. These are only a few comments I’ve had passed on to me by local people. A lot of people think they cant do anything to help stop this road, but if nothing else you can tell as many people about it as possible, making them aware of how wide, high and visible its going to be, and how its not going to help local traffic jams which the council website doesn’t tell us. There are other options, which are cheaper, safer and better for the environment.

Thanks to Mr Gate’s family and friends for giving up so much of their time, in trying to stop this monster.

Yours sincerely
Mrs Pat Hutchinson.

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6th April 2005

Proposed pedestrian subway to go under link road on Torrisholme Road

Antisocial behaviour, nuisance behaviour, music, graffiti, litter, drinking, drugs, dirty needles, used condoms do these issues make you live in fear. When and where do we see these problems, evenings where teenagers congregate in groups? Torrisholme has a history of problems of this kind.
The shelter in Torrisholme Square was bricked up several years ago because it was a place were groups got together; the walls were constantly being sprayed with graffiti an eyesore to passers by, a nightmare for the residents of the square. The play area on the corner of Michealson Avenue, over the years there have been reports in the local paper about teenagers using the park in the evenings and in the last 12 months the residents on the new housing estate Penny Gardens have complained about the noise from the play park. Hall Park, drive past most weekend evenings and you will see teenagers in there drinking. Local press report in 2002 said that as many as 40 youths sometimes congregate in front of the spar on Lancaster Road and the George Hotel. What will happen with a subway, great place for graffiti, away from pubic eye, do you see the same problems here as they have had in the rest of Torrisholme?
Stand outside Broadoak at 08.45 on weekday mornings, there are parents and children under the age of 11 years walking from Cross Hill area to Torrisholme School, look the other way and a few hundred students from Lancaster and Morecambe College are getting off the bus and walking through the subway to college, how big will this subway be? It is crowded now in the mornings with wide pavements on either side of the road.
Do you want your children walking through a subway, a subway that could have graffiti on the walls, used needles and condoms on the floor?
Julie McHugh
Torrisholme resident