YP Letters: Increasing road capacity will not bring solutions for Parks

From: Anne Robinson, Campaigner, CPRE South Yorkshire, Stafford Road, Sheffield.

What can be done to relievec congestion on the Woodhead Pass?

WE agree with the opinion piece (The Yorkshire Post, April 17) that Transport for the North should protect the National Parks and the stunning countryside of the North from new roads. Its transport plan would lead to a new dual carriageway cutting the Peak District National Park in half. Now that the long tunnel under the Park has been abandoned as too costly, the A628 Woodhead Pass would be widened into an expressway, a two or three-lane dual carriageway, connecting the M67 and M1. Even with a five to six mile tunnel under the most challenging terrain, an expressway would destroy habitats and tranquillity, increase carbon emissions, add air, light and noise pollution, and add new intrusions to this beautiful landscape.

The environmental insult does not stop at the Park boundary. The Longdendale expressway would continue east across 
South Yorkshire to the A1M, M18 and M180 cutting across beautiful limestone landscapes.

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Decision-makers have still not yet learnt that more road capacity does not deliver solutions. The more capacity is increased, the more capacity increases are needed, as recent CPRE research has shown. The solutions lie in investing in rail infrastructure and services, managing the demand for road space by reducing capacity or charging for it, and getting people to walk, cycle and use the bus.

From: Ken Redshaw, Wentworth Drive, Harrogate.

I AGREE with your columnist Jayne Dowle when she states that she has “never seen the roads in such a shocking state”.

It is patently obvious that the cost of just bringing back roads to the standard of say a year ago will now be astronomical.

I do, however, suggest that her final comments trying to connect the problem with HS2 should be questioned. For the first time in many years we had, and still have consensus, that HS2, as a project, was essential to increase capacity on the railways.

Already phase one has gone through the statute procedure and work is proceeding to similarly take phase two through. The project will happen and will be funded like any other government project by issuing bonds. It is not a vanity project, nor is there a pot of money which can be raided to fill potholes. Were the project abandoned, we would have both our roads and our railways gridlocked. Future generations will not forgive us if we fail to complete the project.