Monday, October 30, 2006

Strange edm from North-East MPs

North East Motorway Link

A number of North-East Mps have signed the following Early Day Motion calling for our region to be fully integrated into the country's motorway system.

That this House welcomes the call from the Northern Way initiative for the North East of England to be fully linked to the UK motorway system as a step in the right direction and a major contribution to the aims and objectives of the Go for Jobs campaign in the region; and recognises that, while it is true to argue that congestion cannot be resolved by simply building more roads, a fully integrated motorway system throughout the nation is nevertheless an essential part of promoting economic growth in the regions and reducing regional disparities and that the current isolation of the North East from the rest of the motorway network unfairly and unreasonably discriminates against the North East.

Perhaps one of them would care to explain what exactly they mean by this, where does the A1M lead to? I'm sure Stephen Hepburn has travelled this road a number of times when supporting Sunderland at away matches!

picture of map of north-east England

I think what he is talking about is the section of road that isnt classed as motorway.

Head north from just above Leeds and you arent on a motorway, just a "A" road.
What an utterly meaningless and timewasting EDM. Are our MPs trying to look stupid or are they just trying to placate the interests of the Journal and the North East Chamber of Commerce?

The Journal has been repeating this nonsense for ages, as part of it's 'Go for Jobs' pro-roads campaign. The Journal has long been a mouthpiece for the North East Chamber of Commerce and the 'Go for Jobs' propaganda is sympomatic of that relationship. I've stopped buying the Journal because of it's strong pro-road, pro-business, anti-environment editorial bias.

This EDM is not really about 'integration'. It's implying that we need to build more roads, namely the full dualling of the A1 through Northumberland - long the Holy Grail of the Journal and the NECC. Money wasn't forthcoming through the Government's road building budget, so there's obviously some faint hope that the Northern Way will bung some cash in, despite evidence showing dualling is not needed.

The North of Newcastle Multi-Modal study concluded that "no evidence has been found to suggest wider economic development benefits would arise" from dualling the A1, and the Regional Assembly's own consultants Steer Davies Gleave reported that there is “…virtually no evidence that transport investment on its own can generate economic development". It was also found that if the A1 was dualled, the average journey time between Edinburgh and Newcastle would be reduced by only twelve minutes. Accusations of poor safety, a regular of the Journal and repeated by Mr Hepburn, is not supported by studies by the AA, which rates the A1 as a 'medium risk' road, with not even a mention on the AA's list of Britain's most dangerous roads.

Mr Hepburn is on record as supporting the dualling of the A1, so it's no surprise that he slapped his name to this ridiculous EDM, especially so considering his backing for the deeply flawed second Tyne road tunnel project.

It's interesting how the EDM accepts the contradictions between congestion and road building, yet goes on to say we need more roads, though forgets to consider transport's impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and that transport is the UK's fastest growing source of emissions. Since Mr Hepburn also signed up to the Climate Change Bill EDM, isn't he aware of his environmental inconsistency, and ultimately, his irresponsibility?
I too agree that there is little need to complete the dualing of the A1 in Northumberland, and no need at all to upgrade it's status in North Yorkshire. No doubt others will still differ.
(A waste of Parliamentary paper!)
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