We've published a new version of our Campaigner's Guide to Stopping Damaging Roads. If you think a new or bigger road in your local area is a bad idea and want to stop it, this guide will show what you can do.
What with all the changes that have been taking place over the past few years, our road campaigner's guide was due for an overhaul. While we cannot hope to keep pace with everything that changes, having the guide split into a number of companion guides and only available online, should allow us to be more nimble in updating our guidance in the future.
The main thrust of the road campaigner's guide is largely untouched. If you are concerned about a new road, then you need to talk to people, raise funds and start to get your voice heard locally and further afield. None of that has changed.
However, we have now pulled out of the main guide a series of companion guides, areas where things might change more rapidly in the future. The four topics covered by these guides are:
- Air pollution
- Freedom of Information
- Guide to the road decision-makers
- Nationally Strategic Infrastructure Projects
Air pollution is a fast-moving area, and one of the few that planning inspectors and Examination Authorities will take notice of, mainly because of the legal implications.
A recent review of the Freedom of Information legislation rejected changes such as introducing charges, so this remains a valuable means for campaigners to gather evidence and expose plans. Our companion guide explains the detail of how it works.
The last two companion guides are areas of substantial revision, and certainly the decision-makers guide is going to need further updates as the whole issue of devolution becomes clearer. In contrast, the process for taking nationally significant new roads through the planning process has now bedded in somewhat and the process and its limitations have become a lot clearer.
When local groups and individuals take on Highways England or their local authority, it can seem very much like a David and Goliath battle, with the odds stacked firmly against you. That does not mean however, that you cannot win and it is amazing what a well organised campaign can achieve.
Campaigners involved in Chichester Deserves Better, opposed to a northern A27 bypass around Chichester, used our guide to fight the proposals by Highways England. And this week they have discovered that they have been successful in seeing off this highly damaging and controversial road proposal.
You too can do it using the advice contained in these new guides, and if you learn any tricks that brought success that are not listed here, please get in touch and let us know about them so we can share your knowledge.