1 Aug 2007.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Thames Gateway Bridge Blocked by PPG13
Ken Livingstone 'Supports' the Project, but Gives £65,000 to Objectors

In the latest example of the UK's transport lunacy, the Inspector reporting to the Secretary of State for Transport recommended permission should be refused for the much needed Thames Gateway Bridge, because
‘it might encourage people to travel’
Under Planning Policy Guidance 13 ("PPG13") planners need to take account of
‘the impact of the proposal on traffic generation and overall travel patterns having regard to the desirability of achieving development that minimises the need to travel, particularly by private car’
(Page 7 - full treatement on pp510-513)
The madness continues on pages 15 and 16 of the report, which makes it clear that Ken Livingstone's TfL, a major supporter of the project, had given a total of £65,000 to the objectors to help them prepare a case against their own scheme!
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said
“This whole situation is absurd. Ken Livingstone is supporting both sides of the argument, and the way the inspector quotes PPG13 suggests that this planning guidance would preclude any major transport infrastructure project of any kind.”
In his conclusions, (Page 550) the inspector also supports objectors' attacks on TfL's public consultation that showed 85% of respondants in support of the new bridge. He says;
"It was clear, for example, that a disproportionate number of individual motorists had responded to the consultation. The results were then presented without adequate warning of their shortcomings."
Nigel Humphries continued:
“The inspector's comments about private motorists beggar belief, he has uncritically accepted a crazy suggestion from Friends of the Earth (P296) that if lots of people take the trouble to respond to a consultation because it affects them, then their views can't be taken into account because their numbers are disproportionate. It's a bit like having a general election which one party wins convincingly on a 70% turnout, then saying that the other party has won because everyone who didn't vote is assumed to support them!”
Transport for London (TfL) and Ken Livingstone say that the new crossing is crucial to plans for an extra 160,000 houses and 42,000 jobs in the Thames Gateway region. Now, following this fiasco that has cost £27 million so far, we find that the public enquiry will be reopened, at further immense cost and delay to this much needed project.


Inspectors report [pdf]
TfL — Thames Gateway Bridge

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