Friday, 29 October 2010

Big, Big news says Pugh

The Southport Visiter carries sthe story of the Thornton Relief Rd today.

John Pugh said: “Make no mistake, this is big, big news.

“It should make a huge difference plugging Southport into the motorway network and bringing business and tourism to the town.

“The scheme scores impressively in terms of its effect on economic growth which is why its get the go ahead in these tough times.

“The government hasn't made the mistake of cutting back on this important capital scheme.”

Previous schemes for the Thornton bypass had been flatly rejected under previous administrations but was resurrected in 2006 by Labour due to the continuing growth of Sefton Free Port.

But it fell by the wayside towards the end of Gordon Brown’s administration, as public funds ran dry.

Following a spending review by the coalition, the project is one of very few to be green-lighted.

Photo of Tony Robertson and Minister at Switch Island


  1. I'm not sure a single carriageway road is the best solution, it might cut journey times by a few minutes and transfer the congestion to the new roundabout near Jospice. Your comment about the scheme falling by the wayside because public funds were running dry doesn't stand up to scrutiny; how has the money suddenly been conjured up in the age of austerity?

  2. Ged, The statement that the project had fallen by the wayside is a quote not from me but from the Visiter. I think it is a charitable interpretation as far as Labour is concerned - with cuts of 40% pencilled in for the transport dept under Darling's £90bn deficit reduction plan few think it could have survived.

    As to the route; it is the one that all local politicians in all parties have signed up to after the most exhaustive and time consuming process. Don't forget it took Labour 13yrs NOT to make this decision and they made us jump through endless bureaucratic hoops en route.

  3. Iain,
    I did send a further post but you either didn't get it or ignored it. However on the subject of the link road it seems that the previous government did make a decision on this scheme, as confirmed by the Transport Minister in the previous administration, Sadiq Khan. See this link:

  4. Firstly I do not accept that it is OK to take 13years to approve a plan. No other European country would tolerate such delay. Secondly I am satisfied that Labour cuts -don't forget they were planning £90bn- would have put this scheme in jeopardy hence the warning we got from senior civil servants. Thirdly just check out what Labour said about the budgets that were ring fenced from the £90bn of cuts and you will see that they were going to have to cut transport hard. Check out Hansard for the day of the announcement and you will see the figures there in an exchange with Ms Eagle and the Transport Sec.
    Don't forget also Labour were going on with Trident and several other big ticket defence items (for which they had no money in the budget)as well which left them even less room for manoeuvre .

  5. Well I agree that 13 years is far too long to get an infrastructure scheme on the ground but that's not untypical I believe with the planning, environmental and funding hoops that need to be jumped through. The previous governement had recognised this and passed a piece of legislation to ensure that major schemes in the national interest would go ahead by shortening the planning process. Unfortunately the Infrastructure Planning Commission was abolished in the coalition agreement so it's back to square one.
    Yes there would have been transport cuts but the Thornton bypass scheme funding was approved.

  6. I think we are going round in circles here. 13 years is too long and Labour were in power so could have grasped the nettled and sorted it. The hold up were not down to planning/environmental assessments but the way Labour chose to implement them. Their chief concern seemed to be lots of press stories and 'good news' that the road was coming. Well in thirteen years it didn't arrive.


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