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Re: [greenwichcyclists] Red Bull Greenwich loses Thames Gateway Bridge

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  • helenarussell@ukonline.co.uk
    The full inspector s report is available here. http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1512063 The inspector recommended that the scheme (as it stood) be
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 29, 2007
      The full inspector's report is available here.


      The inspector recommended that the scheme (as it stood) be rejected.
      Unfortunately the govt has fudged it by merely delaying the decision. There is
      lots of interesting stuff in the report, the main point the inspector made was
      that the case for regeneration was not strong enough to counteract the negative
      effects of the bridge (particularly increased air pollution).

      The govt is asking for a new traffic model and a new look at the regenerative
      benefits as a result. But they will also have to take into account
      recently-published climate change policies such as that from the Mayor.

      Quoting Barry Mason <masonb@...>:

      > This was buried away.
      > Oh dear. First they lose the super-casino....now the Government's
      > Public Local Inquiry throws out the Thames Gateway Bridge scheme.
      > It's now quite dead and buried yet...see below.....but it's probably
      > fatally wounded.
      > All the more money then for walking/cycling bridges (and the Thames Path
      > missing link east of the Flood Barrier?!) in what looks to be a really
      > important and rare decision that chucks out a major road scheme.
      > Good. The Woolwich Ferry lives on.
      > Barry
      > 07905 889 005
      > Thursday 2 August: Afterworker. 6.30pm Southwark Needle: Stratford
      > Olympic sites.
      > Sunday 5 August: Locks Docks. 9am Southwark Needle. 10am Cutty Sark
      > Gardens.
      > -------- Original Message --------
      > Subject: [lcc-issues] LCC helps stop Thames Gateway Bridge
      > Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 19:58:51 +0100
      > From: R Smyth <ralph@...>
      > Reply-To: lcc-issues@yahoogroups.com
      > Organization: City Cyclists
      > To:
      > [can anyone get this news onto the LCC website etc? Guardian
      > report at the end...]
      > Fantastic news: the six lane Thames Gateway Bridge has been
      > rejected following a public inquiry, which finished on 23
      > May 2006. It is suspected that the Government is trying to
      > bury the news by publishing it today at the end of the
      > Parliamentary session after sitting on the decision since
      > last October.
      > While environmental groups such as Friends of the
      > Earth and Transport 2000 put the public transport and
      > environmental arguments and local residents their concerns
      > of motor traffic generation, LCC used its expertise to work
      > with them to highlight the issues affecting what TfL
      > dismissed as the "slow modes" - cycling and walking - and
      > helped mount a very strong and comprehensive case. All
      > were helped by support from Greens on the London Assembly
      > who used their budget veto to secure funding for experts to
      > contest TfL's technical evidence.
      > LCC was the only objector to be represented by a barrister
      > and had the support of national cyclists organisation CTC
      > plus the latest research from Sustrans. LCC had opposed
      > the TGB's predecessor in 1992 which would have also cut
      > through Oxleas Wood but this was the first time LCC
      > appeared at a public inquiry.
      > TfL's claims that the bridge would "maximise walking and
      > cycling" and included a "dedicated cycleway" were soundly
      > rubbished by showing that it would result in a reduction in
      > journeys walked or cycling and that the cycleway was in
      > fact an obstacle course shared with pedestrians that had a
      > maximum speed of 10mph.
      > The full inspector's report should be out shortly and could
      > prove useful to campaigners, particularly cycling groups,
      > fighting road schemes across the country. In particular
      > TfL's plans for a road tunnel at Silvertown is now likely
      > to hit the buffers. All inquiry documents are at:
      > www.persona.uk.com/thamesgateway
      > The only problem is that Hazel Blears plans to reopen the
      > public inquiry. This will be an uphill struggle given
      > increasing awareness of climate change by the general public
      > and planning guidelines not to mention the fact that one of
      > the local councils has gone from Labour to Tory and now
      > opposes the bridge.
      > It is very rare that major road schemes are rejected in
      > inquiries and shows the Government's contempt for due
      > process that it is trying to press it through a second
      > time. Another inquiry would cost millions, which would be
      > better spent on attractive bridges for cyclists and
      > pedestrians only, such as the winking Millenium Bridge in
      > Gateshead.
      > Regards
      > Ralph
      > ---
      > Blears reopens Thames Gateway bridge inquiry
      > John Vidal, environment editor
      > Thursday July 26, 2007
      > Guardian Unlimited
      > The government is to reopen a public inquiry into the £500m
      > Thames Gateway bridge after an inspector recommended that
      > it should not be built.
      > Business groups and the London mayor, Ken Livingstone, said
      > the proposed six-lane, motorway-scale bridge over the
      > Thames was essential for the regeneration of east London
      > and the development of the Thames Gateway region.
      > But the scheme was fiercely opposed during a year-long
      > public inquiry by environment groups and local residents,
      > who showed that it would add to traffic and pollution in
      > some of Britain's poorest boroughs.
      > Hazel Blears, the secretary of state for communities and
      > local government, said she wanted the new inquiry to
      > investigate further whether the bridge would lead to
      > regeneration, and its potential impact on pollution.
      > The unexpected decision - one of the few in the past 20
      > years in which a major road scheme has not immediately been
      > accepted - was greeted with dismay by Mr Livingstone.
      > "Any delay to the Thames Gateway bridge is a blow to east
      > London, and south-east London in particular," he said.
      > "The reopening of the public inquiry will delay bringing the
      > benefits of the Thames Gateway bridge to an area that
      > sorely needs them. This new crossing is crucial to
      > supporting plans for an extra 160,000 houses in the Thames
      > Gateway region and up to 42,000 additional jobs in the area
      > as whole."
      > But the Green party and environment groups said the
      > government should have rejected the scheme.
      > "We're extremely disappointed that the government did not
      > follow the inspector's advice," said Jenny Bates, the
      > Friends of the Earth London campaigns coordinator.
      > "The bridge would bring few benefits to the local people and
      > lead to more traffic, more noise and air pollution and an
      > increase in climate-changing emissions. Better ways must
      > found to regenerate the local area."
      > Darren Johnson, a Green party member of the London assembly,
      > said: "This is good news for the environment and for the
      > people of east London. Backing this road bridge has been
      > the single biggest mistake of the Livingstone mayoralty. He
      > can't claim that climate change is his number one priority
      > and then build a traffic-generating road like this."
      > The inspector was concerned that 17m vehicles a year would
      > use the bridge, and that by 2016 levels of traffic would
      > grow in four local boroughs by between 10% and 36%.
      > Since the inquiry closed, the government has increased its
      > commitment to countering climate-changing emissions .
      > Transport for London, the main backer of the bridge scheme,
      > insisted it was a "local road" that would economically
      > benefit the surrounding boroughs.

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