Eco-warriors dig in to defy bailiffs
Friday 11 December 1998
Environmental activists have constructed tunnels with concrete-enforced entrances beneath Moneymore Cottages, on the edge of the motorway route near the village of Weeford, Staffordshire.
Bailiffs working for county officials brought one protester out of a tunnel after a struggle yesterday. But up to 10 more were still believed to be underground. Efforts were continuing to dislodge them.
The planned pounds 400m, 27-mile motorway - intended to link the M42 at Coleshill with the M6 at Cannock - has been described as unnecessary and a blight on the environment by a coalition of residents and eco-warriors. Protesters include "Muppet Dave" and other veterans of campaigns at Manchester Airport and Newbury bypass. The current battle follows an 11-year saga since the road was first proposed. A public inquiry in 1994 and 1995 - the longest held into a road scheme - eventually gave the go-ahead.
Environmental groups reacted angrily yesterday as the Government confirmed starting dates for 24 roads and details of the next stage of 13 more projects, including five to be built under private-public partnerships. The schemes were all listed in the Government's roads review in the summer.
Lord Whitty, the Roads Minister, said the announcement of firm dates allowed the Government to "clarify matters for all concerned". He added: "This is a realistic, achievable programme which we are committed to taking forward, and which reflects our new integrated approach to transport."
Roger Higman, transport spokesman for the environmental group Friends of the Earth, said road-building was an "expensive, destructive and ultimately self-defeating way of dealing with traffic problems". He added: "Instead of wasting money on these projects, the Government should invest in traffic management, bus priority and cycle schemes, which provide far more relief for far less money."
Lynn Sloman, of the Transport 2000 campaign group, said: "There are some [schemes] that are clearly not appropriate, where there is local concern and where the full range of alternatives has not been explored." The most unpopular schemes included Bingley relief road in West Yorkshire, the A27 Polegate bypass in East Sussex and the A120 Stansted-to-Braintree road in Essex.
The Birmingham Northern Relief Road, currently the subject of protest, is being built and will be run by Midlands Expressway, a joint venture between the Norwegian firm, Kvaerner, and Autostrade, which runs Italian toll roads. Motorists will be charged pounds 2.50 to use the highway, an alternative and - in theory - less congested route to the M6.
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGH VALUE REAL ESTATE / RESID...
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Are you looking for part time/ ...