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Bulldoze Prescott's plans not Linslade's countryside

c_m | 20.01.2005 13:07 | Ecology | Cambridge | Oxford

Update (03/03/05): The authorities were left looking rather silly when the protest camp disappeared under cover of darkness, the night before a massive eviction was staged. A demo is planned for 9:15am this Saturday (5th March) at Wing Hill Roundabout, near Linslade.

Local residents near Linslade in Bedfordshire have been disrupting work on the Stoke Hammond to Linslade Bypass, a new £50m road which is the first part of John Prescott's "development" plans for the region, including a massive expansion of Luton airport. The 5 mile planned route cuts across some beautiful open countryside and includes the destruction of several groups of trees.

[ Main Campaign Website (with latest updates) | Road Alert | Road Block ]

Countryside near Linslade
Countryside near Linslade

Last Week's Events:

Work was expected to start on Monday 17th, but a large turnout by protesters apparently put off the contractors, and the day was spent talking to reporters and trying to determine if any work was taking place on other bits of the route. Contractors were seen hanging around in some areas but then left.

On Tuesday contractors were again seen hanging around but then left, surveyors were out working and there was what seemed like a general attempt by police to intimidate protesters.

On Wednesday morning there was intense police activity and bulldozers being turned away by protesters. Despite a concerted effort by contractors and police to bring chainsaw vehicles and a digger onto the land during the day, work was completely blocked by local residents linking arms in front of the vehicles and two others chaining themselves to the digger.

The two who were locked-on to the digger were arrested for aggrevated trepass and have been bailed away from the bypass route. They plan to use their court case to challenge the legality of the road scheme.

On Thursday morning the digger left Valley Farm, and heavy machinery work was suspended for the rest of the week on police advice. Surveying continued in preparation for a planned fence along the bypass route.

[ Monday reports: 1 | 2 | 3 ] [ Tuesday: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] [ Wednesday: 1 | 2 | 3 ]
[ mainstream coverage: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ]

In Oxford on Saturday evening at 6pm there was a meeting at 109 Hurst Street for people interested in supporting the protests.

Update (27/01/05): A camp has been set up and needs support [pics], but work is continuing as protesters are outnumbered by police and hired security.

Note for Oxford IMC readers: This feature is included on Oxford Indymedia because of the (relative) proximity of Linslade to Oxford and the involvement of some people from Oxford in the protests.



Hide the following 9 comments

note of sympathy

20.01.2005 18:21

It can seem that we have no sympathy with the contractors in situations like this. In the feature above, they are implicitly the bad guys as they are "seen hanging around in some areas" or being held off by local residents. Of course, this isn't deliberate but is just the result of telling the story from the perpsective of the protestors.

We were talking to a contractor on Monday who told us that (unsurprisingly) he was in a position of clearing the route for the road or not getting paid. It's slightly more nvolved but it costs him money if the road is held up. In the long term, I think it is necessary to stop roads like this. These sorts of contracts will become very unpopular and the whole process of forcing decisions like this past an unwilling public will be more difficult and will succeed less often.

My point is just that I feel for the contractor and I think we should be very public about how underhand the terms of the contract are in locking the contractor into the government's bad ideas and how unwise it is to bid for this kind of contract.

heart witness

Test - Remove

20.01.2005 19:04

Added media info already


Help needed to support camp at Linslade

25.01.2005 10:51

Help needed at new protest camp on route of Linslade Bypass
Campaigners against the Linslade Bypass yesterday (Sunday 23/01/05) set up the first action camp on the route of the proposed bypass. The camp was set up around a tree due to be felled to enable the moving of an oil pipeline prior to the beginning of bypass construction work. A tree house and basic ground camp were built with an onlooking audience of police and Bucks county council officals. Lots of good local support but help is desperatly needed to keep the camp functioning. People who are able to live on site for a couple of days at a time are especially needed.

The camp is right next to the B4032 (Leighton Road) between Linslade and Soulbury, approximately 1 mile west of Linslade (Grid Reference SP 897 262). Its on the north side of the B4032 between Dollar Farm and Valley Farm.
For a detailed map use the Ordnace Survey's map search facility (available and search for 'Linslade'. Also see map on front page of

Temporary site phone 07946187745
Campaign office 07815 817 108 or 01525 385097

Boris by the phone

work resumed

26.01.2005 12:00

The camp
The camp

Construction work has started opposite the treehouse and people are needed there urgently

fuck roads

lets have true facts

09.02.2005 12:32

This road has been planned for 30 years. It is not part of Prescott's housing growth proposals, but a vital link between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury. Currently all traffic between these towns passes through the residential areas of Linslade causing pollution, congestion and danger to our children. This road should have been built years ago.

A number of the protesters are not local - despite the protest being trailered as by local people.

This road has been through the planning system, had a public enquiry and has been given the go-ahead. Democracy says that that those who's arguement was not accepted should back off and let the majority view prevail.

Linslade Resident

The true facts??

03.03.2005 17:26

Dear Linslade Resident.

I would like to raise a few points in reply to your submission.

In response to your first point just because a scheme has been planned for 30 years it does not automatically make it a good idea!

You also mention that the planning process allows the majority view to prevail. This is not necesarily the case. Local concerns can be overridden by county wide or government policy and those who want to object have to take time off work to attend enquiries. Those pushing such schemes have the luxery of being paid (by the council, government or developer)and thus often have more resources to put forward thier case.
Please do do not say that the road has majority support unless you have the figures to prove it.

Tree friend.

We Need More Housing

12.03.2005 13:19

I find it very surprising that many of the readers of this website support denying the basic human right of desent and affordable housing for working people. That is what such selfish acts as campaigning against new housing development means. It also means ensuring that current criminal house prices remain high for the propertied classes as represented by the Campaign for the Preservation of Real Estate values (CPRE). I expect such antidevelopment campaigners, dont care that essential workers in our schools, hospitals etc can not afford to live near their work and have to spend much of their time driving in traffic jams, leaving little or no time for their families. Nor because of the high cost of housing in the area essential services are short of essential staff and find it difficult to retain them.

Add to that their campaigns against such developments as the expansion of Blackbird Leys Estate, mean workers have to travel longer distances, adding to Oxfordshire's transport problems who's existing transport network is suffering severe congestion problems. Which is also not good for the environment nor the health of commuttors.

As for the canard that if the developers get their way the region will be one large suburb, the facts do not back it up. In fact around 2 million people will be seeking new homes in the South East Region reports SEEDA (2004) over the next decade that is some 200,000 new houses are required. As currently planned such proposals are likely to utilise some 0.75 % of the South East’s total land area of 1.7 million hectares, which is 1.92% of developable land leaving around 90% of the area undeveloped. to read more

Nicholas Newman
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Question of Principal not NIMBYISM - Green development needed.

16.03.2005 11:41

Dear Mr Newman

The anti-roads movement fully supports the need for affordable housing and is in no way in league with the wealthy “propertied classes” as you seem to suggest.

It is important to distinguish between an anti-development attitude based on NIBYISM and a wider philosophy of opposing particular developments which make our society even more dependant on oil and add further to global warming.

The objection here is to unsustainable development based around road and airport expansion, not to any development per se. Where development can be proved necessary it should be based around walking, cycling bus and rail, not pollution producing roads and airports. Regeneration (which is usually less ecologically damaging) should always be considered as an alternative.

Tree Friend


16.06.2005 10:20

I live here! Please stop! Many residents have been killed by the huge volume of traffic coming through the village. We want our children to be safe when they walk to school. It is not that we wish to loose our Countyside either, but I believe that our village has to be put first. This is also not a council driven issue, it is something that the residents have been asking for from the council for almost 20 years.

Please understand that we know what is best for our local area and this long drawn out process to give us freedom to live without fear in our own village has taken long enough.

There are much greater causes nationally and internationally for you to use all of your skills and passion to achieve really positive changes to peoples lives who want and need help.

I wish you all luck for the future....aim higher!

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