Letters - March 18, 2019
MP road scheme is a colossal waste of cash
In the Gazette (March 13) Paul Maynard MP again states how hard he has fought to bring what he refers to as the ‘Poulton bypass’ to fruition. Can I respectfully point out that it is most inaccurate and misleading for him to refer to this road as a bypass for Poulton.
This new road will bypass Singleton traffic lights and Mains Lane. Under no circumstances will Poulton-le-Fylde be bypassed nor will the town gain any benefit from this £100m scheme.
I can see that Mains Lane residents will possibly be in favour but in my broader view it is a fundamentally compromised scheme and a colossal waste of money, concerns that were raised by a number of people during the consultation events that I attended. With complex junctions and forests of traffic lights at three points, it will run from the existing Windy Harbour junction to Skippool (near the filling station).
At the Windy Harbour end this dual carriageway super highway connects with several miles of narrow, unaltered single carriageway road via Esprick to the M55 which will continue to generate congestion and pollution, a stretch of road that is most in need of upgrading or bypassing. At the Skippool end (pictured) it merely connects with several miles of single carriageway road all the way to Fleetwood.
Furthermore it will necessitate the destruction of swathes of green fields as it sweeps across through an underpass near Singleton Lodge and will cause considerable inconvenience and upheaval during its construction.
A bypass for Poulton it is not.
I sincerely hope that it will work.
Chemicals are not non-hazardous
People would be forgiven for believing that something that is described as non-hazardous would be safe, benign or harmless and it would be entirely reasonable to conclude that it was incapable of causing harm to people or the environment.
Unfortunately, under current environmental legislation, the term non-hazardous does not take its common meanings, it merely means that such a substance does not meet the high levels of toxicity, environmental persistence and bio-accumulation for it to be classified as a hazardous substance. This means that a substance classified as non-hazardous in the context of environmental legislation can be extremely harmful to both public health and the environment.
In their application to vary the environmental permit for their Preston New Road site, Cuadrilla have included two additional chemical additives which they intend to use in their hydraulic fracturing operations. Both chemicals are described in the application as non-hazardous to groundwater, which is true in the context of environmental legislation but is certainly not true in the context of potential harm to people and the environment. The hazards listed for just one of the proposed chemicals include ‘Toxic if swallowed’, ‘Causes severe skin burns and eye damage’, ‘Fatal if inhaled’ and ‘Very toxic to aquatic life’ but no such hazards are presented in the application.
While Cuadrilla might be forgiven for allowing the public to misunderstand the term non-hazardous in the context of their application, we should all be concerned that the Environment Agency has allowed such an omission to be released for public consultation.
Public Consultation is a statutory duty of the Environment Agency. However, by allowing Cuadrilla to use the term non-hazardous without defining its meaning or context, the Environment Agency has allowed the public to be misled into believing that the proposed additives are safe, benign or harmless and in doing so, has excluded large sections of the public from the consultation process. We should expect much better from the regulator charged with protection and enhancement of the environment.
Dr Duncan Coppersthwaite
Brought back some sweet memories
Reading the letter from Mrs Abbot (Your say, March 14), I remember my mother stockpiling sugar and tea in the months before the beginning of the Second World War. She still had loads in her cupboard after the end of the war. Evidently didn’t intend to be without our cups of tea!
Never the twain shall meet on EU...
AS a schoolboy in 1950s, I was an avid reader of adventure tales like ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain.
However, this author also known for philosophical remarks like “if voting meant anything, they’d never let us do it”. The adverse response to the 2016 referendum by MPs bears this out.