Thursday, February 08, 2007

Help stop destructive road proposal

URGENT ACTION ALERT - help stop destructive road proposal

2 minute email action: Here

Along with local communities, Friends of the Earth Scotland, WWF Scotland, the Woodland Trust, Campaign against Climate Change and many other groups are opposing plans to construct the environmentally-damaging Aberdeen bypass.

What is the problem? This £300 million road will simply encourage more car traffic and increase climate pollution. It would also cut a swathe through 46 km of countryside - much of it designated greenbelt and rich in important wildlife.

What should happen instead? Plans for this road should be shelved. The money should be spent on an integrated transport system that has a focus beyond cars.

More information:

What can I do?

No matter where you live in the world, we need you to formally object to this road scheme by Friday - the 9th February 2007.

My take on this fiasco...

There are several bizzare aspects to this project. The foremost is that there really isn't much need for a bypass of Aberdeen. It sits by the east coast and has little through traffic. If congestion could be solved by building new roads then in the case of Aberdeen these would be wider trunk roads.

The second factor is the price, oficcially £200-400 million, analysis carried out on behalf on one of the main opposition groups estimates nearer to 800 million. The exact figuers are not important, there magnitude is. Aberdeen is a city of 200'000. I can't think of another area where funding of £1-2000 per person would be allocated (to take official figuers). And this outlay would benefit the tiny percentage of the traffic that does not want to actually want to go into Aberdeen. And this benefit, judging by past experiance of road building, won't last long.

The final factor is the reason for this sites existance, climate change. Whilst many are worrying about how society will cope when it inevitably starts to decarbonise in a meaningful way, authorties are outlaying huge sums of cash to allow the implementation of what may euphemistically called 'poor transport policy'.

In some of the worlds great cities climate change and integrated transport systems have been recognied as the challenges opportunities that they are. In London, car ownership has started to decline as disincentives are put in place alongside well developed alternatives. Public transport such as buses, trams and local rail services provide some of the answers, whilst active transport such as cycling, walking, rolar blading etc, provide the other important element. All of these have serious benefits for both the health of the planet and it's people. In a society of epidemic obesity it might have been thought that getting people onto there bikes would have recieved slightly higher priority. Indeed, if these alternatives are provided for with safe cycle lanes, a certain degree of pedestrianisation, a well funded public tranpsort system and facilities that enable these to be used in combination then you have the start of an integrated tranport system that allows for higher mobility, fewer emissions, and a healthier population.

This year in a city of 8 million, London will achieve a great deal with £150 million in funding. If Aberdeen where to spend even a fraction of the officially estimated £400 million on such policies then it would be the greenest city in europe and amongst the most mobile.

Please support this campiagn to throw out the vested interests and inneficiecies of the past and move to a cleaner, healthier and more mobile future.

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