29 June 2012: Campaigners from Witney First tell us how they stopped a damaging new road in the Prime Minister's constituency.
Last week we got the brilliant news that the Cogges Link Road in Witney had been turned down for planning permission after a 27-year battle to stop it cutting through the unique Windrush Valley and Witney Country Park.
This week Alex Kinchesh from Witney First - the group of local campaigners who defeated Oxfordshire County Council's plans - has written a really useful guide for us on how they did it.
Their story is essential reading for anyone who faces an unnecessary bypass or link road in their area and wants to know how to start organising against it.
Here's the summary of Alex's eleven top tips for aspiring road campaigners:
- Any anti-road fight needs a core group of campaigners with tenacity, determination, focus, strategy and no social life!
- Keep a small group of like-minded, dedicated objectors. This enables the group to make decisions quickly
- Be totally factual, scrutinise all information, understand it and properly criticise it
- Create a local website and a Facebook group to publicise information and enable feedback from others
- Collect as many objectors' email addresses as possible and keep people informed of actions and progress
- Turn up to every planning meeting where the scheme will be mentioned and if you cannot speak, have a silent protest with posters
- Engage with the public by knocking on doors and petitioning on the streets
- Organise peaceful protests and invite the press
- Use local reporters and press to full effect
- Use opportunities wisely to draw attention to the campaign, such as local elections
- Above all, never give up the struggle. Good luck, think positive and keep pushing forward