The Newbury Bypass Factfile

Archivo histórico de la variante de Newbury

Imagen =>

Los eco-guerreros suben a los árboles para evitar la construcción de la variante de circulación de Newbury, uno de los proyectos viarios más polémicos de los últimos años. La carretera fue finalmente construida, pero con un enorme retraso. Berkshire, Inglaterra, Reino Unido. =>


     

Andrew Testa 1996
Photographer   Andrew Testa . Fecha: 1996.


 
 
 

Autor: Road Block, una asociación de grupos e individuos que hacen campaña contra la construcción de nuevas carreteras.

Puesta al día: 06 June 2005.

Categoría: Informe

http://www.roadblock.org.uk

 

 

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Hay estudios sobre el coste que supone “un poco más” de velocidad. 61) ¿Los hay sobre el importe de “un poco más” de seguridad? 62) ¿Cuál es la correcta relación entre coste y mejora?

The town's location at the intersection of the routes from London to Bristol and from Southampton to Birmingham made it, for many years, a transport bottleneck. Since the first bypass opened in 1963, the A34 road and M4 motorway trunk routes have intersected 5km north of the town, at Chieveley. The ring road around the town still suffered serious congestion and the Newbury bypass was proposed in 1981. The plans were approved in 1990 however they were extremely controversial and this led to a major environmentalist campaign (sometimes dubbed the Third battle of Newbury ) opposing the development. In spite of this, the road was built and finally opened in 1998. In August 2004, the improved A34-M4 junction was opened which allowed north-south traffic on the A34 to completely bypass the roundabout at the M4.

La localización de la ciudad de Newbury en la intersección de las rutas de Londres a Bristol y de Southampton a Birmingham fue la causa, durante muchos años, de largos embotellamientos. Se abrió una primera carretera de circunvalación en 1963, y nuevas vías arteriales (A34 y M4) más adelante, que se encontraban a 5 km al norte de la ciudad, en Chieveley. Pero estas obras no consiguieron acabar con la congestión, y en consecuencia se propuso, en 1981, la construcción de un nuevo by-pass que debería atravesar densos bosques, cuatro Sitios de Especial Interés Científico, un Área Natural de Belleza Excepcional y un espacio de singular valor histórico. También se afectaba al ecosistema de una rara especie de caracol y se deterioraba un paisaje querido por la población. Se originó una gran polémica ciudadana, que acompañó a la obra hasta hoy. El proyecto fue aprobado nueve años después de proponerse, en 1990, en sesión parlamentaria a puerta cerrada. Y la obra se acabó inaugurando, pero en 1998. En 2004 se concluyó el nuevo enlace A34-M4, lo que permitió que el tráfico entre el norte y el sur de la ciudad, que discurriese por la A34, evite por completo el recorrido de la M4.

Pero más allá de los resultados y la discutible funcionalidad de las nuevas soluciones, esta actuación se conoce por la intensa campaña ecologista que la acompañó desde el principio de su formulación. Tan vehemente, que se ha llegado e denominar como la Tercera batalla de Newbury , en referencia a las dos batallas históricas de este mismo nombre, de 1643 y 1644. El 11 de febrero de 1996 más de 5000 personas marcharon en protesta. Algunos ecologistas hicieron, durante meses, de los árboles su vivienda. Y otros cavaron túneles, con la esperanza de que la maquinaria pesada no actuaría si se arriesgaba su vida. Una encuesta nacional de 1996 hizo ver que el 53% de la población pensaba que "los trabajos deberían pararse inmediatamente y plantear alternativas” al proyecto en marcha. La obra avanzó, pero con un enorme despliegue policial que precisó la ayuda de empresas privadas de seguridad. El desmesurado coste total de la operación de seguridad fue de 24 millones de £, mientras el coste total de la obra no superaba los 100 millones de £.

Las estimaciones de costes y beneficios se han complicado. Pues deben considerar en los cálculos pérdidas de elementos cuyo valor no puede monetarizarse. Así los árboles. ¿Cuánto vale un árbol, cuánto un paisaje, hasta dónde alcanza el valor de un ecosistema? Frente a estas estimaciones imposibles, la conveniencia de cambios o la inmovilidad. ¿Sólo son aceptables cambios menores, nunca estructurales? Los logros de la ingeniería, generalmente son bien valorados si son antiguos. La impresión general que subyace al empeño político es que si una obra finalmente se hace, se acabará valorando bien. Faltan, pues, análisis retrospectivos (nunca lo hecho tiene por qué estar bien hecho, sólo por haber sido hecho: el peso de la razón del poderoso). Faltan estudios de propuestas alternativas, completas. Y falta discusión sobre la bondad de los objetivos de las transformaciones: un ahorro de tiempo, una supuesta mayor seguridad del tráfico, etc., no implica sin más la necesidad de la actuar.

Por otra parte, el papel de las asociaciones ciudadanas se ha vuelto esencial. Y más cuando se enfrentan a propuestas que juegan con la ventaja de que se dan por supuestas sus ventajas. Las críticas a las carreteras (símbolo máximo del progreso, desde el siglo XVII) han hecho una función vital. El incierto futuro de los bosques es el horizonte de trabajo.

 
 

 

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Newbury

HORIZON > comes from question 62

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The Newbury Bypass Factfile

This is an archive document. It is no longer being updated and the information it contains may now be out-of-date. For up-to-date news about current anti-road campaigns in the UK, check out the Road Block and Road Alert! websites.

Introduction

The A34 Newbury Bypass was Britain 's most controversial road-building project and saw Britain 's biggest ever anti-road protest. Local campaigners battled against the road throughout the 1980s, their efforts culminating in a public inquiry in 1988 (with a minor follow-up inquiry in 1992). When the public inquiry found in favour of the road, there followed a spectacular campaign from 1994 to 1998 that took in every form of protest, from mass letter writing and European lobbying to non-violent direct action and criminal damage. The road may now be complete, but campaigners continue to highlight the extra traffic and development it has brought to Newbury.

What this website is... and what it's not

Various websites have covered the later stages of the campaign to stop the Newbury bypass, particularly the spectacular "direct action" protest that saw around 1000 people arrested. But although there is lots of information about Newbury on the Web, it is scattered about in many different places. This low-frills, high-content website ( deliberately designed as one black-and-white, easy-to-print page with no Java and few graphics to slow you down) attempts to bring it all together, explaining just why the Newbury bypass was so contentious, why people fought so hard against it, and what the fight was really all about.

The page is in two parts:

This second section is not a history of what happened at Newbury (and certainly not a definitive history). It is simply designed to be a starting point for students, researchers, and others interested in the Newbury campaigns. (See also tips for researchers.)

This site is an archive

This site was compiled (well, okay, thrown together) one day in 1998. It is no longer really being updated, though most of the broken links were fixed (yet again) in September 2004.

The Third Battle and FoE press releases still work and you can still find the Telegraph and Times articles online, but you'll need to go to their websites and search for each story individually (i.e. the links here won't take you straight to the stories). You may still be able to find the other documents too, but if the links are broken you'll have to go to Google and look for each one individually.

Please remember that this website doesn't aim to be anything other than a partial account of the long (and continuing) history of the Newbury bypass. There may appear to be a lot of information here; most of it is missing; thankfully, many stories will never be told, except in little gatherings of old friends, with much booze and laughter :)

Thanks

This web page is dedicated to everyone who was involved in the fight to stop the Newbury bypass. Whatever you did, whenever you did it, and however long you did it for, you were part of something very important and very special. Thank you!

Big thanks to Andrew Wood for supplying the TBON press releases (and writing most of them in the first place).

Testa

Table of contents

Tips for researchers

If you are doing research into the Newbury bypass, the most important thing to remember is that the campaign didn't begin on 9th January 1996 or finish on 2nd April that year. Nothing could be more important in any account of Newbury than the 1996 protest. But that protest was just the filling in a very sizeable sandwich. Local people had been campaigning against the road for many years before that and are still campaigning on bypass-related developments today. Direct action had first taken place in 1994; the first arrest of the campaign also happened that year. Just a handful of examples show the scope of the campaign:

•  The Society for the Prevention of a Western Bypass (SPEWBY) fought a determined campaign in the 1980s, including a lengthy public inquiry in 1988.

•  News stories from the early 1990s show that Thames Valley Police anticipated a huge rise in accidents when the bypass opened (and this happened in reality).

•  Third Battle of Newbury was formed in February 1994.

•  There were protest camps on the bypass route (and an office in the town centre) by the summer of 1994.

•  In the Autumn of 1994, a concerted campaign to scrap the Newbury bypass persuaded Transport Secretary Dr Brian Mawhinney to put the road on hold.

•  There was a frantic period of preparation from July 1995 until January 1996 designed to ensure that the protest would be spectacular, memorable, and effective.

But just as the campaign didn't begin in 1996, not did it end when the final trees were cut down:

•  Protest camps remained on the route until 1997.

•  Also in 1997, the Green Party fought the general election on bypass-related issues.

•  European political issues were still being argued in 1998.

•  A detailed scientific monitoring project has been taking place throughout the road's construction to study its effects on the environment.

•  A reunion protest successfully closed the road in January 1999.

And even today, local campaigners continue to fight the money-spinning developments that made Newbury's road not just possible, but absolutely inevitable. Those traffic-generating developments ensure that, however much the Highways Agency argues to the contrary, there can be no ultimate benefit from the Newbury bypass except profit for the developers.

Finding information from newspapers on the web

Daily Telegraph

By far the best news archive on the web, because it can be searched by keyword. If you cannot access the Daily Telegraph articles directly from here, you need to register for a user name at the Electronic Telegraph site and then do your own search for "Newbury bypass".

The Guardian

Unfortunately, The Guardian has a much more recent archive, so the many excellent articles by John Vidal and others written before 1998 are not available on the Internet.

The Times

Although The Times and Sunday Times has a good web archive going back to 1996 (and thus covering the Newbury protest), you have to pay for old articles.

Financial Times

A pay-as-you-go site, the Financial Times is quite good for finding information, but not much help in giving it to you. They even charge for information from other papers.

Evening Standard

The Standard provided comprehensive (and generally very biased) coverage of the protest, but maintains only a recent archive (we found nothing earlier than 1999).

The Independent

The Independent and Independent on Sunday have no web archive covering the Newbury period.

Newbury Weekly News

The most comprehensive press archive of the campaign is buried in the pages of Newbury's local paper, The Newbury Weekly News . This has a relatively poor website, with no archives that we could find. However, Newbury public library (in Cheap Street , a short walk from the railway and bus stations) carries all back copies of the paper on microfilm. There are bypass-related news stories going back to the 1980s (and probably beyond). The Letters page has always been a lively source of local debate about the bypass and is well worth reading.

SchNEWS

The radical Brighton-based environmental and social justice newspaper SchNEWS ran Newbury stories in many of its issues from July 1995 onwards.

Do or Die

A thought-provoking book/magazine written by Earth First! activists in the UK . Do or Die covered Newbury in issues six and seven.

The issues

General

Environment

Ecology

Archaeology

  • Newbury - The Archaeology Bypass by Jill Eisele. A 1997 talk to an archaeological conference about how English Heritage neglected the archaeological and heritage importance of the Newbury bypass route.
  • "Stone age site 'sacrificed' to new road" by Oliver Tickell and Greg Neale, The Telegraph , Sunday 20 August 1996.

Pollution

  • "Who should take the rap for deadly roadwater?" by Trevor Lawson, BBC Wildlife magazine, January 1998. Dr Neil Ward and PhD student Mr Robert Hares of Surrey University carried out a detailed scientific monitoring programme before, during, and after construction of the road. This article describes the background to the study and some early results.
  • Costain Trade Effluent Applications, Newbury Bypass, A report by Paul Mobbs for Newbury FoE.

Transport

  • End of the Road: Managing Newbury's traffic to reduce congestion and pollution without a western bypass : An alternative to the Newbury bypass produced by Friends of the Earth, WWF UK , and the Third Battle of Newbury. From Friends of the Earth (0207-490-1555).
  • Newbury alternatives report : A summary.
  • A34 Newbury Bypass: Response to the Highways Agency Study: July 1995 : In 1995, Dr Brian Mahwinney gave the go-ahead for the Newbury bypass after a short review of alternative options known as the "Highways Agency Study". This document reviews that study and presents a detailed review of Newbury's transport issues.
  • Transport and the Environment by Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. 17th report. London : HMSO, October 1994 (A general analysis of the growing transport crisis and a call for integrated transport. Published just before the Newbury bypass was put on hold in 1994.)
  • Transport trends and transport policies: Myths and Facts , Transport 2000, London .
  • Tunnels lose out in transport schemes : Press Release from Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, 13 January 1997 , advocating use of road tunnels following protests at Newbury and Twyford Down.
  • The Millennium Debate : a look at the transport debate, including links to numerous recent press articles.
  • Roads to Nowhere : transport section from the Green Party election manifesto 1997. 'At Newbury, where the case against the bypass was clear, the local MP campaigned vigorously for the road and in so doing formed "an unholy alliance with the road lobby and betrayed the Liberal Democrat voters." Jill Eisele, Third Battle of Newbury'.
  • Bypasses and communities: An argument in support of the road from the British Roads Federation.
  • "Formal demise of predict and provide" by Sally Cairns, Town & Country Planning , October 1998, 67 (9). A good brief overview of how UK transport policy has changed over the last few years.
  • Commission for Integrated Transport : a lot of useful information.
  • A New Deal For Transport: Better for Everyone : the Government's Integrated Transport white paper.
  • "Transport and the Economy" a report from the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) on whether road improvements bring economic benefits.
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Accidents

Politics

  • "Accelerating on the road to a fiasco" by Oliver Tickell, The Times , 29 July 1995 . This article sums up the evidence that the decision to build the Newbury bypass was based on political considerations, not the environmental or transport factors involved.
  • David Rendel's Concrete Overcoat : from the Green (Liberal) Democrat's magazine Challenge, Summer 1995. Why did Newbury's MP, David Rendel, apparently change his mind about the bypass?
  • Bypassing the Truth: The Liberal Democrats and the Newbury Bypass : A July 1996 report by Newbury Friends of the Earth into conflicts between the Liberal Democrats' national transport policy and their stance in Newbury. From Friends of the Earth (Tel: 0207-490-1555)
  • "Promiscuous and Celibate Ministerial Styles: Policy Change, Policy Networks and British Roads Policy." by Geoffrey Dudley and John Richardson, Parliamentary Affairs , Vol 49 No 4, 1996 (contrasts the personal styles of various roads minsters, including Brian Mawhinney, David Howell, and John Boyd-Carpenter, and analyses the role individual ministers play in forming transport policy).
  • The UK parliament website offers an easy-to-use search of parliamentary papers, including Hansard (Commons and Lords debates, parliamentary questions, etc.). A quick search for "Newbury bypass" revealed over 1000 hits....
  • Green Lib Dem Questionnaire - David Rendel: An interview with David Rendel.
  • "David Rendel's website : "David is a keen environmentalist. He regularly cycles in Newbury..." but also features in Urban75's Face punching archive . (Now that Mr Rendel is no longer Newbury's MP, his website will probably soon stop working.)
  • Bypass surgery: Commentary from Liberator (Green Lib-Dem magazine), Issue 234: "The Battle of the Newbury Bypass has brought two Liberal principles into head-on collision. For the Liberal Democrats, it is an extreme example of what can happen when local party members who have won control of their council follow a policy which annoys and embarrasses many supporters elsewhere."

Protest

Europe

  • " Europe may put brake on Newbury bypass project":by Charles Clover and Christopher Lockwood, Daily Telegraph , Saturday 5 November 1994 , p.6. (Complaints to the European Commission about the bypass suggest the scheme contravenes European environmental law and could be stopped.)
  • Twyford Down: roads, campaigning, and environmental law by Barbara Bryant. London : E & FN Spon, 1996: Contains a chapter "The Lawyer's Assessment" by Peter Kunzlik, which explains the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) directive and the "pipeline argument" on which the Newbury (and Twyford Down) European disputes were based. With Peter Kunzlik's help, Newbury campaigners took the issue much further.
  • Court bars united challenge in bypass dispute, The Times, 28 February 1996 : An attempt to raise European legal issues during the Department of Transport's eviction proceedings against protesters.
  • European Ombudsman Decision 206/27.10.95/HS/UK et al. : Newbury campaigners' complaints to the European Commission were followed by complaints to the European Ombudsman; this is his verdict.
  • Parliamentary question on Newbury's environmental assessment : On 12 February 1997 , Michael Meacher MP asked the then Roads Minister John Watts MP what kind of environmental assessment had been carried out for the Newbury bypass.
  • Environmental assessment home page : compiled by the European Commission's environment department (DGXI). Gives information on background to European environmental impact assessment laws.
  • RSC Working Paper, No 98/23 : Contains a paragraph or two by Carol Harlow, considering what effect the Newbury case has had on European Administrative Law.

Legal issues, criminal justice, and policing

Miscellaneous

The campaign - told in press cuttings and press releases

excavadoras

The Newbury bypass attracted worldwide press coverage in early 1996, and there are hundreds of relevant articles. We've listed as many as we could find here. Some of the articles we list predate newspaper website archives, but you should be able to track them down in good public libraries (most reference libraries take the Clover newspaper index, which is the best place to start). FoE's press releases are also included, as are most of Third Battle's press releases from mid 1996 to mid 1997. Together, they give an outline chronology of the events from 1994 to 1998. But many events that happened during that time -- especially in the frenetic 12 months between July 1995 and July 1996 -- were never reported.

Note : In the chronology below, the commentary in italics comes from FoE's Newbury bypass year review (1996-1997)

The campaign: 1994-1999

The 1994 campaign

  • "Europe may put brake on Newbury bypass project": by Charles Clover and Christopher Lockwood, Daily Telegraph , Saturday 5 November 1994 , p.6. Also: "Sir Michael senses a quiet victory" by Kathy Marks, on the same page (complaints to the European Commission about the bypass suggest the scheme contravenes European environmental law and could be stopped).
  • "Trees used by rare bats felled for road scheme" by Nick Nuttall, The Times , 19 October 1994 (early tree-felling on the bypass route).
  • "The Third Battle of Newbury" by John Gibb, Sunday Express magazine, October or November 1994?? (reviews issues and interviews chief protagonists on both sides).
  • Newbury bypass petition, FoE press release, 15 Nov 1994 .

Brian Mawhinney puts the road on hold: 19 December 1994

  • "Lovers of Dormice and bats rejoice" by Nick Nuttall, The Times , 20 December 1994 .
  • "Roads programme on hold as report questions benefits", The Times , 20 December 1994 .
  • Road building is halted by Tory U-turn, Daily Telegraph , 20 December 1994 .
  • The Newbury announcement coincides with the publication of Trunk Roads and the Generation of Traffic by the Department of Transport's own Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) (London: HMSO, 1994), commonly known as "The SACTRA report". This report, long suppressed by the DoT, suggested that building roads often generates ("induces") extra traffic rather than relieving congestion, and questioned the wisdom of building new roads.
  • "Behold the spoil of war" by Bel Mooney, The Guardian , 13th February 1995 .
  • Newbury Bypass, FoE press release, 7 March 1995 : (A Friends of the Earth analysis of the Newbury Bypass concludes that it has become politically 'untouchable').

Brian Mawhinney gives the road the go-ahead: 5 July 1995

Campaigners step up preparations for direct action: 6 July 1995 - 8 Jan 1996

The main protest: 9 January 1996 - 2 April 1996

Also well worth checking out: PP3's log of the protest, which covers the direct action period from January to April 1996. (NB: The same site also contains PP3's log of the A30 road protest.)

  • 9 Jan 1996 : Attempts to start clearance work on the route of the Newbury bypass are foiled when hundreds of security guards and contractors are prevented from leaving their overnight base by protestors perched on scaffold tripods.

Rowan as in tree, Doug as in spade
Rowan as in tree, Doug as in spade" (right to left)

  • Newbury guards row, Daily Telegraph, 31 January 1996.
  • "Throwing down a mit in the mud" by Jay Griffiths, The Guardian (Society), 31 January 1996, p.4.

Wild horses of Newbury
Wild horses of Newbury:
A strange occurrence when horses get in front of chain saws
.
horses

Shannon sings
What  song would nature sing if she could sing to you?

Aftermath: April 1996 - August 1996

The snail: May-June 1996

Note : Although the rare ice-age snail Vertigo moulinsiana (Desmoulin's whorl snail) became a hot issue only in 1996, English Nature had known of its existence since at least May 1995 (and local campaigners had known about it since 1994). English Nature's neglect of the snail became the basis of the court case (application for judicial review) attempted by FoE and local campaigners in 1996.

Costain win the contract to build the road: 3 June 1996

Costain down the drain
Almost."

Construction starts: 6 Aug 1996

First anniversary "reunion rampage" ("The Barbecue"): 11 Jan 1997

Nice view, but cold up here
Not everyone is happy to 'celebrate' the anniversary by tying ribbons to the fence.
Soon the fence is down... hundreds of people are inside the compound...
dozens are up a crane... more climb on a digger...
and construction machinery and portacabins are burning."

  • Construction machinery torched at Newbury bypass anniversary by Mark Lynas, One World News, 13 Jan 1997 .
  • Exhibition of Newbury Bypass fence decorations, contributions requested , TBON press release, 21 January 1997 .
  • "Newbury clash bill still rising" by Fiona Kingston, Contract Journal , 22 January 1997 .
  • "True Stories: What the papers say: Steve Platt looks at why the media is losing interest in direct action", The Big Issue , 24 January 1997 .
  • There's a riot going on? by Merrick . Leeds : Godhaven Ink, 1997. Merrick 's pamphlet 'There's A Riot Goin' On?' contains a big essay about media, direct action and violence that was written the day after the 1997 Reunion Rally/Rampage and describes a lot of what went on. It also does a 'compare and contrast' of the national newspaper coverage the rampage received.

Early 1997 events

Winners and losers in the General Election: May 1997

  • "Swampy & co have a lesson for the Greens" by Hugo Young, The Guardian , 13 March 1997 . In the light of Twyford Down, Newbury, and other direct action campaigns, Young asked whether modern environmentalists should be voting Green or climbing trees.
  • "Bury swampy in concrete says minister" , Daily Telegraph , 15 March 1997 . Roads minister John Watts is criticized for saying he would be happy to see "Swampy" buried in concrete in an interview with a student. Swampy dismissed Mr Watts as "childish". "What the minister said was stupid and thoughtless. The man is a prat," he said.
  • Newbury's General Election 1997 : Newbury Green Party candidate Rachel Stark increases the Green vote, but with a country determined not to vote Conservative, David Rendel increases majority with a 17% swing from Conservative to Lib-Dem.
  • Hampshire North West's General Election 1997 : Meanwhile in the other Newbury constituency, Green Bill Baxter and 'No bypass' candidate Helen Anscomb take on Transport Secretary Sir George Young.
  • The Green Party's analysis of the 1997 election.
  • "David Rendel: Your MP in profile", Newbury Weekly News , 2nd May 1997 . Newbury's local paper remodels David Rendel as an environmentalist: "one of the first scientists to study the threat to the ozone layer, a long time before the danger of pollution was generally known". But during the election count at Newbury Racecourse, a bypass protester leaps forward and attempts to present Rendel with his Grey Ribbon award ("Britain's most environmentally destructive politician") from BBC Wildlife Magazine . It is this event, rather than Rendel's victory, that is carried on local TV news.
  • Tory Roads Minister John Watts -- the government face of the Newbury bypass who described opponents as "rabble-rousing anarchists" -- attempts to fight the "safer" seat of Reading East, but is ousted. A few months later, he suffers a stroke.
  • Newbury: Bypass was a diversion in the battle for votes , Financial Times, 2 May 1997 .

Mid-late 1997 events

Vindication?

  • "Road protest was right says Norris", by John Deans, Daily Mail , 17 March 1997 .
  • Newbury road protesters were right, says Norris Daily Telegraph , 17 March 1997 .
  • "The guardians of nature: 'secretive, defensive and turning a blind eye to destruction'" by John Vidal, The Guardian , 24 Nov 1997 , p.1. (English Nature's lack of action at Newbury slammed by WWF-UK report. John Vidal quotes Third Battle's conclusion that English Nature's actions at Newbury were "a catalogue of repeated failure".)
  • Road body: we won by Geoffrey Lean, Independent on Sunday , 31 May 1998 : Alarm UK closes down confident of having won the battle against roadbuilding.

The road opens: 17 Nov 1998...

... and closes again: 10 Jan 1999.

Bypass declared a 'failure' and 'cracks up: 1999

The bypass opens, acts as a magnet for through traffic and development plans (a massive new housing estate at Sandleford and a new corporate HQ for Vodafone just off the old A34, to name but two...), and results in numerous accidents (some fatal). Perhaps it's the stress of all this that causes the "revolutionary", noise-reducing, porous asphalt surface to 'crack up'. During the autumn of 1999, the entire road surface has to be replaced.

  • Newbury bypasses land ruling , The Guardian , 01 May 1999 . Vodafone wins planning permission to build a new corporate HQ next to the old Newbury bypass.
  • June 18th Global Day of Action , Earth First! Action Update , No.60 - July 1999.
  • £100m bypass fails to cure traffic jams , Daily Telegraph , 07 July 1999 .
  • Beauty spot bypass 'proving a failure' , The Guardian , 12 July 1999 .
  • Bypass surgery , The Guardian , 13 July 1999 .
  • "Vodafone to quit Newbury if HQ gets red light", Daily Telegraph , 22 July 1999 .
  • "Bypass setback for Newbury", The Guardian , 17 Aug 1999 .
  • "Newbury bypass faces disruption", The Independent , 17 Aug 1999 .
  • "Repairs to shut Newbury bypass", Evening Standard , 17 Aug 1999 .
  • Anger over bypass repairs , BBC News , 17 Aug 1999 .
  • Repairs hit Newbury bypass , BBC News , 17 Aug 1999 .
  • "Anger as crumbling surface closes Newbury bypass", The Scotsman , 18 Aug 1999 .
  • "Centre of Newbury set for an unwanted diversion", Financial Times , 18 Aug 1999 .
  • "Costain in black for first half", Daily Telegraph , 28 Aug 1999 .
  • Bypass setback for Newbury , The Guardian , 17 August 1999 .
  • "Bypass closes", Daily Telegraph , 01 September 1999 .
  • MIDDLE ENGLAND SAYS NO TO ROADS : Letter to the Independent on Sunday by Adrian Foster-Fletcher, 21 May 2000: "Here, only a year after a £127m "investment" in a bypass, we have traffic levels at 85 per cent of the old levels at peak times, and this before the opening of the new Vodafone HQ and subsequent housing that will be built."

Aftermath: 2000-

.con nocturnidad

Lessons learned

More information

Books

The Newbury bypass protest is covered or mentioned in the following books:

  • Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year 1996 , published 1997, contains a double-paged spread about the Newbury bypass protest based on moody photos by Antonio (Tony) Olmos .
  • Battle for the Trees by Merrick . Leeds : Godhaven Ink, 1997. Compelling and inspiring account of the 1996 protest through the eyes of one protester. A must read!
  • Green Backlash by Andrew Rowell. London and New York: Routledge, 1996.
  • "Only Just­A History of the A34 Newbury By-Pass 1979-1998" by Gordon Rollinson, charts the story of the bypass from the viewpoint of a local man who cycled up and down the Newtown Straight counting ambulances and campaigning for the new road to be built. It is on sale at Waterstone's, Winchester, price £6.50.
  • Earth First! and the Anti-Roads Movement by Derek Wall. London : Routledge, 1999. [See especially pp. 65, 85-7, 90.]

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion by Andy Worthington. Loughborough: Alternative Albion , 2004. Covers the role of King Arthur Pendragon and the druids.

Photos

Lots of fine photographers took memorable pics at Newbury and bore silent witness to the greater drama that unfolded during the protest in 1996. If you're looking for photos, here are some excellent people who might be able to help you:

More photos:

Films/Videos

  • The Battle of Rickety Bridge , by Jo Carter, produced by Channel 4 Television for Age Concern , 17 December 1996 . A programme that used what happened at Newbury to challenge the age-stereotypes prevalent in environmental activism and the wider age discrimination in society.
  • Hearts and Minds by Third Battle of Newbury/Local Voices, 1996.
  • Undercurrents Issue 6 : the video activism magazine. Contains "Road blues" (Newbury construction workers are serenaded) and "Wild horses of Newbury" (A strange occurrence when horses get in front of chain saws).

Music

  • "The Battle for the Trees" by Julian Cope , on the LP Interpreter , Echo Records/Chrysalis, 1996. (The track "Redirected Male" on the same album includes guest backing vocals by Newbury protesters Merrick and "OK" Simon.)
  • Numerous recordings by Theo & Shannon , aka Seize the Day . (CD ordering information and latest news on this site.)

Links to other sites

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