Quarry decision is baffling to me
I was deeply disappointed that Lancashire County Council voted against Cuadrilla’s planning applications.
So I’m pleased Cuadrilla has chosen to appeal. The council made their decision and in doing so threw away a vital economic boost to the area - and a boost to the UKs energy future -which could benefit us all.
Contrast the council’s stance with their decision last week to approve plans to extend a quarry in rural Lancashire that will see 1.5 million tonnes of stone, shale and mudstone extracted over 27 years.
It is expected to generate around 75,000 HGV journeys on minor roads in the area, and will leave a lasting scar on the local landscape. It’s also set to become a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
It’s a development that will quite clearly create unavoidable and undesirable traffic, noise and landscape impacts.
Which is why residents of nearby Brinscall must be baffled, when you consider that the same county councillors rejected plans for shale gas exploration at two much smaller sites on the Fylde on the basis of traffic, noise and landscape impacts.
At the quarry, the nearest residential homes are just 80 metres away. The proposed shale gas sites are over 200 metres away from local homes.
This sort of obvious double standard, that often results from political decision-making rather than a hard-headed consideration of the facts, is exactly why there is an established and democratic right of appeal for developers that believe their plans have been refused for the wrong reasons.
The most dangerous roundabout in town?
The saga of the Plymouth Road roundabout continues – it has got to be the most dangerous in the town (Gazette, July 22).
Motorists, taxi drivers and buses still break the law by speeding through the junction on red. They accelerate down Poulton Road at speeds over 50mph on occasions.
Blackpool Council surveyed the lights months ago, traffic flow and with the lights turned off, the latter was perfect, no abuse, no traffic hold-ups. There must be five or six offenders on every traffic change, that’s an enormous amount in a day.
Only today a No.14 double decker and a No.6 sped through on red. An accident ready to happen? Well it did this week with a motorist soon after 10.30pm ending up on the island, after knocking over the traffic light and ending up with his car on its side.
What would this have been like if it had happened during the morning and evening rush hours when it is most busiest and most abused?
The other problem with this junction is motorists avoiding the line of traffic using the outside right-hand lane only to cut in to proceed along to the Garstang Road, there has been some near-misses.
Install a camera at this danger junction
I write to relate an incident that happened on Tuesday, July 21 at around 2.50pm. Approaching the traffic lights at the corner of Hardhorn Road and Garstang Road East, the lights turned to red and myself and the car behind pulled up accordingly.
Imagine my amazement when I saw in my rear view mirror a white car behind both our vehicles put its headlights full on and continue to turn right on to Garstang Road East, travelling at around 40mph.
In hindsight, I realise the person executing this extremely dangerous manoeuvre may have been going to an emergency situation which required immediate action. However, to place other people’s lives at risk is not an option.
Hopefully, the person driving that car will reflect on what might have happened.
Being a resident of Poulton, there are many times vehicles show no consideration for other road users and jump the lights. Whoever is responsible for the highways might consider having a permanent camera on the lights and thereby accrue some income when these people are caught and prosecuted for their selfishness.
We are left without effective opposition
To be a healthy functioning democracy, a credible alternative opposition party is essential. That is why dictatorships of the left and right ban them.
Since Labour and the Lib Dems were mauled in the General Election, we are in danger of having a party governing without scrutiny.
Currently, the Labour party has descended into open warfare. Senior figures in the party like David Blunkett have openly criticised the party, particularly the four contenders for the leadership.
Should hard-left Jeremy Corbyn become the next Labour leader, it will clearly demonstrate the party has a death wish. He is not known as Mr Negativity for nothing.
Already influential members of the party are investigating how to change the rules so that a leader can be deposed.
The chaos is so serious that Tony Blair, that well-known peace envoy, should be brought in to sort it out.
Dr Barry Clayton