9 October 2012: We're offering training and support to anyone who wants to stop a new wave of road-building covering their local area with tarmac.
Building roads on a massive scale is being revived. National and local government are both embarking on a major programme of new roads, including many resurrected plans that were rejected back in the 1990s. We’re aiming to help local communities to defeat these roads again, using a creative mix of tactics – old and new.
First, we're providing information and intelligence. By trawling local planning documents, Highways Agency plans and lists of infrastructure projects produced by a range of other bodies, we've created a new interactive map of all the new road threats we can find, aiming to alert campaigners as early as possible to projects in their areas.
Second, we'll be providing training, networking and advice to help campaigns get off the ground and use the very best ideas to win.
Many new campaigns have already started – for example the A556 Lobby Group and the PAULA (Poynton Against Unnecessary Links to the Airport) campaign challenging the projects near Manchester that were funded by last year’s Autumn Statement – and we've also made helping more campaigns to get off the ground a priority.
The conference is the first of its kind since 2007 – and is for anyone who is campaigning to stop a road in their local area, or expects to face a road threat in the near future. So, if you find a road near you on our map and think you will want to start a campaign, individually or with existing local groups, please book a place and come along. If you're already opposing road plans in your area, come along to share advice on strategy and tactics and learn more about things like new planning rules and how new Local Transport Boards will work.
Confirmed speakers so far include:
- John Stewart, founder of HACAN against Heathrow expansion and ALARM UK, which joined local campaigns together to defeat the 1990s roads programme
- Rebecca Lush Blum, who supports grassroots campaign through the Lush Cosmetics 'Charity Pot' and was also prominent in the 1990s anti-roads movement
- Ralph Smyth, Senior Transport Campaigner at CPRE
- Stephen Joseph, Sian Berry, Richard Bourn, Andrew Allen, and Richard Hebditch from Campaign for Better Transport
- Campaigners from Witney First, who recently stopped a road from destroying a local park in the Prime Minister's own constituency
- And local and regional campaigners from around the country who have experience in fighting new road proposals and proposing better alternatives