Lancaster County Council Cabinet 7 October 2021 Agenda, Papers, CLOUD response, and webcast. 

On 7 October Lancashire County Council Cabinet debated the South Lancaster Spine Road and associated work on Junction 33 of M6. 

Click Here for link to the Agenda and Papers 

Click Here for link to Webcast of the meetingSouth Lancaster is item 13 and you can listen from 37.18 

The Cabinet decision to approve spine road subject to further surveys is included on p5 of the  Minutes Click here for link to minutes

Map of development dependent on Housing Infrastructure Funding

Click here for map 

CLOUD wrote a response that was sent to all Cabinet members. This is outlined below:

 

We are writing to you regarding the proposals under discussion at the County Council Cabinet meeting this Thursday, 7th October.    The CLOUD organisation is seriously concerned about the proposals and their impact on local people and the environment.   These concerns include, but are not limited to:-

 

·        Implications for traffic congestion resulting from the Spine Road

Firstly, where is the traffic modelling which supports the Spine Road route and impact on existing roads?   At the western end, the proposed spur out onto the A588 will hugely increase traffic onto a rural road (which has already seen multiple accidents) leading north onto the Pointer Roundabout at the southern end of the city.   The roundabout is already clogged at most times during the day so the consequences of any additional traffic are hideous.   The northern spur is no better.  This will bring traffic out onto a narrow hill which is single-track, one way and limited to buses and cycles!   There will also be consequences further east on the A6 junction at Scotforth, which, again, is already very busy and very narrow due with housing on both sides.   Then there is the rat-running issue, with motorists using the village lanes to the west of the A588 to get into Lancaster.  Additional traffic from the A588 onto these rural lanes, which is almost bound to happen, will result in more accidents which are all too regular in this area.      

 

·        Climate emergency and environmental impact

We are in a climate emergency.  The South Lancaster development and its massive environmental impact runs contrary to national and local government statements regarding reduction in carbon emissions and maintaining green environments.   It is fanciful to think that the proposals for remodelling the M6 junction, Spine Road and Park and Ride will lead to a reduction in emissions.   Just the construction of the roads and housing alone will increase emissions of all kinds and have a detrimental effect on the health of local residents not to mention the destruction of key sites of biodiversity.

 

·        Sustainability

Where is the sustainability assessment for these proposals?    How will sustainable active transport be made possible?   Apart from the Park and Ride, the proposals are entirely car-dependent.  It would be nice to think that local residents will abandon their cars and move to buses or cycling and walking but in the real world, as Highways England pointed out in May 2019: “There is no robust transport evidence to demonstrate that these forms of sustainable transport infrastructure and services will provide the necessary modal shift to achieve the sustainable movement of people and goods, particularly in relation to the level of proposed growth in South Lancaster.”

 

·        Lack of consultation and local democracy

As has happened time and time again in relation to South Lancaster, major decisions are being made by council officers and planners/consultants without formal, widely advertised consultation with local residents.  We have only found out about these latest plans and the meeting of the Cabinet with a couple of days to spare.  There has, to the best of our knowledge, been no chance for discussion of these plans by local stakeholders.

 

On this basis we would urge you not to approve the plans but instead undertake appropriate environmental assessments and insist that those in charge of the development engage formally with all those affected by these extensive plans for our area.