Public opposition forces £38m Colne to Foulridge bypass rethink

Public opposition forces £38m Colne to Foulridge bypass rethink

Public opposition forces £38m Colne to Foulridge bypass rethink

First published in News

PUBLIC opposition has forced a rethink on plans to build a £38million Colne to Foulridge bypass.

Lancashire County Council revealed the proposal to construct the long-awaited link road by 2021 along with a preferred ‘Brown route’ in October.

Yesterday, as the overall East Lancashire Highway's and Transport Masterplan passed its first major hurdle, it was revealed that opponents of the scheme had forced highways bosses to look again at alternatives to ease congestion in the area.

In the original plan, six routes for the bypass to remove the notorious bottleneck on Vivary Way and North Valley Road for drivers using the A56 to get on to the transpennine A59 were outlined.

A new ‘Brown route’ was identified as the county’s preferred option, but a consultation produced a wave of opposition to the whole scheme.

Now the plan, for the first time, includes examining how to reduce congestion around Colne without a bypass.

Lancashire county council cabinet member Azar Ali, who represents Nelson South, said: “There was an unusually large amount of opposition to the Colne/Foulridge bypass proposals.

“As a result the county has had a rethink and decided to look at whether we can ease the congestion without building the bypass.

“We will look at tackling congestion in Colne first to see what happens there. There is a lot of opposition in the Foulridge, Higherford and Earby areas.

“We are mounting a study to see if spending £38million on this bypass is justified. If it can’t be justified and the problem can be dealt with without one, there will be no-bypass.”

Coun Ali said the meeting of 400 residents at Colne Library was very divided between supporters and opponents of a new bypass.

Of the 111 people who made written responses to the plan, 50 preferred the 'Brown route', 20 opposed that route and 41 opposed any bypass at all.

Out of 72 email responses received, many opposed either specific routes or questioned the need for a bypass altogether, including a 91 signature petition opposing the scheme outright.

Rachel Boothman, whose Grade Two listed bed and breakfast business at Blakey Hall Farm, in Red Lane, Colne, would be demolished for the county’s preferred ‘Brown route’ said: “This is good news. There is huge opposition to this bypass round here, the written and email responses are just the tip of the iceberg.

“It is a hurrah moment for us but there is still a lot of work to do before we can say this bypass will not go ahead.”

County highways boss John Fillis, who will meet with Coun Ali on Monday to discuss the new study into cutting congestion without a bypass, said: "We're committed to listening to the views of local people.

"Among businesses and our partners there was almost total support for our preferred 'Brown route' . Among the public, responses were more mixed, with a far wider range of opinions as to the merit of any bypass.

"The consultation told us that people want us to carry out more detailed appraisals of the options."

Another major change in the revised masterplan is an agreement to look at reviving the heritage line between Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom and Bury as a commercial rail link between Rossendale and Manchester.

The previous version only proposed looking at improvements to the road in the A56/M66 Rawtenstall to Manchester gateway.

The masterplan also proposes £2.8million towards an estimated £3.2million total cost of vital maintenance to the Centenary Way viaduct which carries the A682 road through the centre of Burnley, improvements to Burnley Manchester Road Rail Station.

Hazel Straw, transport manager, said: "We had a very good response to the consultation on the Highways and Transport Masterplan for East Lancashire and a number of important changes have been made to the version which is to be discussed by Lancashire County Council's cabinet next week.”

The revised masterplan was approved by Blackburn with Darwen council on Thursday night and goes before the county council’s cabinet next Thursday.

Comments (14)

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9:16am Sat 1 Feb 14

Davehillbo says...

Some things need to be done without a public consultation, and this is one of them. Pollution levels around major routes in Colne are approaching dangerous levels, and all the council does is hold consultations. Just build the **** road already, its desperately needed.
Some things need to be done without a public consultation, and this is one of them. Pollution levels around major routes in Colne are approaching dangerous levels, and all the council does is hold consultations. Just build the **** road already, its desperately needed. Davehillbo
  • Score: 2

11:46am Sat 1 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

Davehillbo wrote:
Some things need to be done without a public consultation, and this is one of them. Pollution levels around major routes in Colne are approaching dangerous levels, and all the council does is hold consultations. Just build the **** road already, its desperately needed.
And, whilst you're about it, get the Skipton rail link re-instated!
[quote][p][bold]Davehillbo[/bold] wrote: Some things need to be done without a public consultation, and this is one of them. Pollution levels around major routes in Colne are approaching dangerous levels, and all the council does is hold consultations. Just build the **** road already, its desperately needed.[/p][/quote]And, whilst you're about it, get the Skipton rail link re-instated! Darren1951
  • Score: 9

11:54am Sat 1 Feb 14

HairyBowls says...

The Air quality around North Valley is very poor...this bypass is needed asap. This problem cannot keep being ignored.
The Air quality around North Valley is very poor...this bypass is needed asap. This problem cannot keep being ignored. HairyBowls
  • Score: 1

12:26pm Sat 1 Feb 14

pdb951 says...

Just extend the motorway through and do it now. This bottle neck cannot be sorted by tinkering around with the existing roads
Just extend the motorway through and do it now. This bottle neck cannot be sorted by tinkering around with the existing roads pdb951
  • Score: 5

3:03pm Sat 1 Feb 14

wet n windy says...

For a start, and with minimal cost, remove the traffic lights and roundabouts to improve flow. Of course some additional way of accessing Aldi etc will be needed and maybe and under or overpass to cross the road, but this is a better approach I'm my opinion than ramming more Tarmac into our beautiful countryside
For a start, and with minimal cost, remove the traffic lights and roundabouts to improve flow. Of course some additional way of accessing Aldi etc will be needed and maybe and under or overpass to cross the road, but this is a better approach I'm my opinion than ramming more Tarmac into our beautiful countryside wet n windy
  • Score: 12

8:45pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Excluded again says...

What's the betting all those people who have been pushing for this by-pass for years never bothered responding to say they were in favour? Only themselves to blame.

Here's a tip for if the Council consults again after a more detailed options appraisal. Respond with your views. It is highly unlikely that Lancashire County Council will employ sufficient telepaths to know your views otherwise.
What's the betting all those people who have been pushing for this by-pass for years never bothered responding to say they were in favour? Only themselves to blame. Here's a tip for if the Council consults again after a more detailed options appraisal. Respond with your views. It is highly unlikely that Lancashire County Council will employ sufficient telepaths to know your views otherwise. Excluded again
  • Score: 0

9:00pm Sat 1 Feb 14

liddle 'un says...

For "public opposition" read "a vociferous minority lording it over the rest of us".
For "public opposition" read "a vociferous minority lording it over the rest of us". liddle 'un
  • Score: -2

11:55pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Pan-cake says...

Davehillbo wrote:
Some things need to be done without a public consultation, and this is one of them. Pollution levels around major routes in Colne are approaching dangerous levels, and all the council does is hold consultations. Just build the **** road already, its desperately needed.
On previous form LCC will not hang about if parish pump arguments persist. The £38m could be spent in any number of other places in Lancashire. Remember the aborted proposed bypass for the A59 at Clayton le Dale ?- one of the final links on the upgrade of the A59 from Skipton to Samlesbury. Also the aborted bypass for Read and Simonstone to improve the connection of the Ribble Valley to the M65 and onwards to Manchester. Scuppered by small minded nimbys who refused to see the bigger picture.
The bottleneck at the end of the M65 is damaging not just to air quality and congestion for the locals but also affects businesses all down the M65. Perhaps this is why, looking eastwards, the M65 is often referred to as the motorway to nowhere.
[quote][p][bold]Davehillbo[/bold] wrote: Some things need to be done without a public consultation, and this is one of them. Pollution levels around major routes in Colne are approaching dangerous levels, and all the council does is hold consultations. Just build the **** road already, its desperately needed.[/p][/quote]On previous form LCC will not hang about if parish pump arguments persist. The £38m could be spent in any number of other places in Lancashire. Remember the aborted proposed bypass for the A59 at Clayton le Dale ?- one of the final links on the upgrade of the A59 from Skipton to Samlesbury. Also the aborted bypass for Read and Simonstone to improve the connection of the Ribble Valley to the M65 and onwards to Manchester. Scuppered by small minded nimbys who refused to see the bigger picture. The bottleneck at the end of the M65 is damaging not just to air quality and congestion for the locals but also affects businesses all down the M65. Perhaps this is why, looking eastwards, the M65 is often referred to as the motorway to nowhere. Pan-cake
  • Score: 7

12:34am Sun 2 Feb 14

Reality50 says...

The two priorities should be extending the M65 to Keighley and Bradford and also reopening the Skipton to Colne train line. The Rawtenstall to Bury private line i agree should be open as a commercial line.
The two priorities should be extending the M65 to Keighley and Bradford and also reopening the Skipton to Colne train line. The Rawtenstall to Bury private line i agree should be open as a commercial line. Reality50
  • Score: 3

2:29pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Kevin, Colne says...

Over the years one of the things that really surprised me was the failure of the council when granting planning permission for the new developments on North Valley Road to request developers to construct these developments ten or twelve feet further south.

I always felt that this would have been a prudent thing to do in case at some future date consideration needed to be given to converting North Valley Road to dual-carriageway.

I’m not sure what could be done to the existing network to improve traffic through-put other than by increasing the capacity of the highway by way of additional running lanes, but this will be very difficult in places because of the way in which some of the developments referred to above have taken place.

The possibility of a new garden centre at the end of the M65, a new discount store and eater on North valley and housing developments to the east of Colne is likely to increase vehicular numbers substantially.

The town is known as ‘Bonnie Colne on the hill’, but we’re fast approaching the time when a more accurate slogan would be ‘Colne grid-locked on the hill’.
Over the years one of the things that really surprised me was the failure of the council when granting planning permission for the new developments on North Valley Road to request developers to construct these developments ten or twelve feet further south. I always felt that this would have been a prudent thing to do in case at some future date consideration needed to be given to converting North Valley Road to dual-carriageway. I’m not sure what could be done to the existing network to improve traffic through-put other than by increasing the capacity of the highway by way of additional running lanes, but this will be very difficult in places because of the way in which some of the developments referred to above have taken place. The possibility of a new garden centre at the end of the M65, a new discount store and eater on North valley and housing developments to the east of Colne is likely to increase vehicular numbers substantially. The town is known as ‘Bonnie Colne on the hill’, but we’re fast approaching the time when a more accurate slogan would be ‘Colne grid-locked on the hill’. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 8

7:46am Mon 3 Feb 14

SDC1882 says...

The arguments always seem to be split between environmentalists and people who want progress. The problem is both arguments are as valid as each other.

The real issue is the number of cars on the roads is just getting higher and higher. This needs dealing with at national level. We need more investment in public transport to tempt people off the roads and we need to get tough with the many idiots out there who drive so badly they don't deserve to be on the road.

The latter is unlikely to happen, and so is probably the former which just leaves us with a big mess with Colne just one of many examples up and down the country.
The arguments always seem to be split between environmentalists and people who want progress. The problem is both arguments are as valid as each other. The real issue is the number of cars on the roads is just getting higher and higher. This needs dealing with at national level. We need more investment in public transport to tempt people off the roads and we need to get tough with the many idiots out there who drive so badly they don't deserve to be on the road. The latter is unlikely to happen, and so is probably the former which just leaves us with a big mess with Colne just one of many examples up and down the country. SDC1882
  • Score: 1

9:41am Mon 3 Feb 14

rudis_dad says...

SDC1882 wrote:
The arguments always seem to be split between environmentalists and people who want progress. The problem is both arguments are as valid as each other.

The real issue is the number of cars on the roads is just getting higher and higher. This needs dealing with at national level. We need more investment in public transport to tempt people off the roads and we need to get tough with the many idiots out there who drive so badly they don't deserve to be on the road.

The latter is unlikely to happen, and so is probably the former which just leaves us with a big mess with Colne just one of many examples up and down the country.
This is the only answer - reduce the amount of traffic, and there's a simple way to do it. Compulsory retesting for all drivers every five years. There is a shocking number of completely incompetent drivers out there, who shouldn't be allowed to use a feather duster unsupervised, let alone half a tonne upwards of steel, aluminium and rubber travelling at a speed which can crush bone and muscle to a pulp. If a compulsory retest was introduced, it would weed out those who aren't fit, reduce the amount traffic, raise money for the treasury (which could be ploughed back into the roads and public transport) and increase road safety. It's a no-brainer.
[quote][p][bold]SDC1882[/bold] wrote: The arguments always seem to be split between environmentalists and people who want progress. The problem is both arguments are as valid as each other. The real issue is the number of cars on the roads is just getting higher and higher. This needs dealing with at national level. We need more investment in public transport to tempt people off the roads and we need to get tough with the many idiots out there who drive so badly they don't deserve to be on the road. The latter is unlikely to happen, and so is probably the former which just leaves us with a big mess with Colne just one of many examples up and down the country.[/p][/quote]This is the only answer - reduce the amount of traffic, and there's a simple way to do it. Compulsory retesting for all drivers every five years. There is a shocking number of completely incompetent drivers out there, who shouldn't be allowed to use a feather duster unsupervised, let alone half a tonne upwards of steel, aluminium and rubber travelling at a speed which can crush bone and muscle to a pulp. If a compulsory retest was introduced, it would weed out those who aren't fit, reduce the amount traffic, raise money for the treasury (which could be ploughed back into the roads and public transport) and increase road safety. It's a no-brainer. rudis_dad
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Mike Blomeley says...

Once again it seems the views of a minority of residents are going delay or even prevent progress on this vital improvement to our local road network.
As previously noted, LCC have more demands on available funding than they can support, so a protracted campaign by a bunch of nimbys could result in funding being diverted elsewhere.
The option of looking to re-engineer the existing roads is palpable nonsense, but no doubt time and money will be wasted on fruitless investigations.
As far as Earby residents are concerned, the possibility of that part of the scheme being delivered are so remote, their views should not be considered in relation to the Colne - Foulridge section.
It does seem that any sort of transport development is totally opposed by a vociferous lobby group. HS2 & Heathrow airport are very substantial proposals and clearly need careful evaluation, but a mile of two lane bypass? For heavens sake get real and give some badly needed improvements to North Valley, Colne.
Once again it seems the views of a minority of residents are going delay or even prevent progress on this vital improvement to our local road network. As previously noted, LCC have more demands on available funding than they can support, so a protracted campaign by a bunch of nimbys could result in funding being diverted elsewhere. The option of looking to re-engineer the existing roads is palpable nonsense, but no doubt time and money will be wasted on fruitless investigations. As far as Earby residents are concerned, the possibility of that part of the scheme being delivered are so remote, their views should not be considered in relation to the Colne - Foulridge section. It does seem that any sort of transport development is totally opposed by a vociferous lobby group. HS2 & Heathrow airport are very substantial proposals and clearly need careful evaluation, but a mile of two lane bypass? For heavens sake get real and give some badly needed improvements to North Valley, Colne. Mike Blomeley
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Thu 6 Feb 14

longmot says...

Anyone who thinks Colne has serious congestion cannot have travelled very far. Having to stop for a few traffic lights does not qualify as gridlock. Try a few years of rush-hour commuting in a major city and you will soon gain a different perspective.
New roads always tend to bring new traffic and ever more developments designed for driving to. Look how many cities have built their final outer ring road only to build another one a few years later. The M25 was open for a matter of months before it began grinding to a halt, yet the North Circular road was as grim as ever.
The current floods are another reminder of the need to reduce energy consumption in the developed world. That means driving less. Restoring local facilities. The changes will be huge and will take time but they have to take precedence. Any scheme offering the greatest benefits to those who drive the most is patently irresponsible.
£38 million is around £2000 from each and every Colne resident. Many of those residents have to live for most of the year on that kind of sum, squeezed by austerity and rising prices for essentials. If that kind of money is available, there have to be far better ways of spending it.
Anyone who thinks Colne has serious congestion cannot have travelled very far. Having to stop for a few traffic lights does not qualify as gridlock. Try a few years of rush-hour commuting in a major city and you will soon gain a different perspective. New roads always tend to bring new traffic and ever more developments designed for driving to. Look how many cities have built their final outer ring road only to build another one a few years later. The M25 was open for a matter of months before it began grinding to a halt, yet the North Circular road was as grim as ever. The current floods are another reminder of the need to reduce energy consumption in the developed world. That means driving less. Restoring local facilities. The changes will be huge and will take time but they have to take precedence. Any scheme offering the greatest benefits to those who drive the most is patently irresponsible. £38 million is around £2000 from each and every Colne resident. Many of those residents have to live for most of the year on that kind of sum, squeezed by austerity and rising prices for essentials. If that kind of money is available, there have to be far better ways of spending it. longmot
  • Score: 2

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