A27 campaign

With reference to Kay Wagland’s letter (Gazette, April 9), in which she seeks to distance her local anti-bypass group from the London-based Campaign for Better Transport (CBT), I am reminded of the words in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”.
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The fact is that Ms Wagland and her Arundel SCATE (South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment) friends have a centre-stage position in the activities of the CBT and its Roads to Nowhere campaign. The latter is one of the CBT’s three main national campaigns, and its associated Road Campaigners’ Guide actually has a photograph of Ms Wagland on its front cover.

Also, whilst there is nothing on the local or even the Brighton SCATE websites, the CBT’s main website contains a full-page report giving details of Arundel SCATE’s response to the A27 feasibility study report, and it even includes pictures of Kay Wagland and Binsted’s Emma Tristram, as well as quotes from Arundel’s Simon Gray and Sue White.

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Additionally, the CBT’s website includes a report about last year’s Roads to Nowhere campaigners’ conference, saying that on October 18, 2014 it hosted a training conference to help local campaigners stop a new wave of road building covering the country with Tarmac, and including yet another photograph of Ms Wagland.

Indeed, most of the activities in which Arundel SCATE has been involved during the past six months or so have come straight out of the CBT Campaigners Handbook, including the current CPRE/SCATE proposal for an election hustings meeting where ‘all the candidates are invited to answer questions from your supporters’ and that the groups ‘should write a pledge against the road or in favour of a set of more sensible transport policies and ask all the candidates to sign up, with any who refuse being named and shamed’.

Local people are, of course, perfectly entitled to have their say about local road building proposals. The main opposition to road building in West Sussex and almost everywhere else in the country comes from the CBT’s Stephen Joseph and Chris Todd, and it is unfortunate that a number of local people with legitimate concerns have been drawn into their web.

Derek Waller

Surrey Wharf


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