This week's letter include a critique of the proposed revamp of one of Wyre's most heavily-congested roads, and the latest moves in the Conservative leadership contest
‘Bypass’ scheme is totally flawed
Recent newspaper reports have set out Lancashire County Council (LCC) highways officers’ concerns regarding Highways England’s Windy Harbour to Skippool Improvement Scheme, which is intended to relieve congestion on that stretch of the A585.
LCC’s findings are well justified. Officers consider that this new dual carriageway “by pass” of Singleton traffic lights and Mains Lane would have a negative impact on surrounding roads. Highways England themselves project a resultant increase in traffic along the existing Garstang Road through Poulton of up to 49 per cent.
Traffic volumes along Lodge Lane and through Singleton village would also increase. LCC is also concerned that the traffic modelling data used by Highways England is out of date.
At first glance, to by-pass Singleton traffic lights, Mains Lane and the Shard Road (A588) junction is the solution to resolve current levels of peak time congestion, but these will be replaced by three traffic light-controlled junctions along the length of the proposed brand new dual carriageway road.
Two of these complex junctions, one of which would replace the roundabout near the River Wyre Hotel, and the other located a few hundred yards beyond at Skippool Bridge, will permit traffic, including heavy goods vehicles, to perform convoluted U-turns in order to access a new office development and other properties.
All this will contribute to a stop-start experience which is likely to generate more congestion and frustration for the motorist than currently exists.
This scheme is flawed in many respects and it is reassuring to learn that officers at County Hall have similar concerns.
I urge them, and other concerned parties, to continue to focus on both the fine detail and the broader implications and communicate these to the Planning Inspectorate to avoid a decision being made that could detrimentally affect this area forever.
Council tax must not fund police
So after NINE years of real-terms cuts to the police, Home Secretary Sajid Javid finally accepts the savage cuts under his government have fuelled crime. Surprisingly, it’s taken a leadership contest to finally admit it.
The Conservative leadership contender also said he would spend £1 billion over three years to end a “culture of impunity” among criminals.
I welcome at last the acknowledgment that policing is massively overstretched and that we need more bobbies on the beat to tackle crime.
However, the devil is in the detail and this funding MUST come from core grant, not huge council tax hikes for local residents.
This Conservative Government cut 21,000 police officers from our streets, they must be the ones to fix it, not local council tax payers.
Labour’s Candidate for Blackpool North & Cleveleys
We need a new age of diplomacy
Last month’s elections were about sending the best of British to represent us in the European Parliament.
Whatever length of time we remain in the EU, our selected Euro MPs now have the opportunity to regain universal respect by pursuing a policy of polite, constructive co-operation until referendum negotiations are concluded.
A vote for the Brexit Party will achieve exactly the opposite. Whilst accepting the lucrative pay, perks and prestige, its cohort of MEPs will happily take their place in the EU with the intention of causing as much disruption as possible. And the EU deserves a lot more respect than that.
The countries of Europe are our neighbours, their interests are allied to our own, and they will remain good neighbours, whatever the future. It is time for real British diplomats to undo this undiplomatic mess.