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Lack of Action on Air Pollution in Towcester

Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem Published: 15th February 2019 09:45
 The five Liberal Democrat councillors representing Towcester have renewed their call for a town bypass that will take HGVs out of the town centre.

The five Liberal Democrat councillors representing Towcester have renewed their call for a town bypass that will take HGVs out of the town centre.

The five Liberal Democrat councillors representing Towcester have renewed their call for a town bypass that will take HGVs out of the town centre.

A report to South Northamptonshire Council next week will update councillors on the air pollution affecting Towcester. It states: ‘As expected, because emissions from road transport are the main source of the pollution, the data shows a significant reduction in measured nitrogen dioxide levels during the months there were road closures along the A5.’

Commenting Councillor Martin Johns said: “For years our local MP has claimed action is being taken to bring forward the so called ‘Towcester Relief Road’ that is required to be completed prior to the 1,016th dwelling being occupied on the major new housing development in the town. Yet apparently the developer hasn’t even started on the design. On current build rates, it is projected that the road will not be completed until 2025.

However, the ‘relief road’ as planned, will not take polluting HGVs out of the town centre, as the government still insists it will not adopt the road. Therefore the ‘relief road’ will, as Liberal Democrats have long argued, become little more than a local access road for the new houses.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats on South Northamptonshire Council, Councillor Chris Lofts says: “We’ve seen the government change their minister responsible for roads several times, each of whom has made reassuring remarks but each failing to recognise that Towcester continues to be blighted by air pollution. Our local MP remains fixated on bringing forward the completion of a ‘relief road’ that will not bring any relief to residents. Even her misguided plan has failed, with broken promise after broken promise on dates for the road’s completion. Towcester residents deserve action now and a commitment from government that Towcester will get a new bypass that allows the town centre to be de-trunked and HGVs banned. This is the only way on making sure air pollution is reduced to a safe level.”

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peter k
At 13:55 on 19th February 2019, peter k commented:
And the 106 donation from Towcester, to speed up the road construction ? Can we have it all back, several millions I believe?

Perhaps our MP, enthusiastic at the time, can go in and bat for us?
Jeremy H
At 10:11 on 26th February 2019, Jeremy H commented:
Thank you Lib Dems for keeping up the pressure on this important issue.
The question of how developers and landowners can inflict their obsession with profit before spending on infrastructure has been asked many times already. It’s two years since the minister for transport visited the Forum and vowed that work ‘starts tomorrow’ on new roads for Towcester and A5 de-trunking. He left that office soon after – as it seems did any serious momentum on the subject. Would things be any different had he stayed? I doubt it but we’ll never know.
Thanks also to the Bypass action group on Facebook for trying – but sadly they rarely have much to post.
On a day when Persimmon announce £1 billion in profits – a large amount of this due to government help-to-buy schemes – I’m afraid we live in a society where the dominant ideology places (loads of) money before air quality and efficient roads. What a shame.

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