If only the Government would grant more funding for transport in the North | Burnley Express Letters

From: Tony Martin. Burnley resident. LCC Councillor 1989 – 2009.
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I was pleased to read Roger’s letter in last week’s Express and glad to see he had lost none of his rage for LCC and the Ted Heath’s local government reorganisation of 1974, which stripped Burnley of its education and Social Services functions as well as responsibility for highways and transport.

However, on the question of the M65 extension to Bradford and Leeds, he needs to remember the leading opponent of this was Tony Greaves, the Lib/Dem politician from Colne, who was made a Lord by the Lib/Dems after losing his seat on the County Council – so much for the Lib/Dems belief in democratic decision making by the good people of Colne! As Lord Greaves, he retained all his powers to condemn LCC for ending up with a duel carriageway, a motorway and a bypass all terminating in Colne, whilst accepting none of the blame for leading the campaign against extending the M65 through the north valley of Colne as originally intended. It’s a bit rich of Roger to blame LCC, when his mate was the prime mover in stopping its construction!As to the Heysham/M6 link, I spoke at the public enquiry about its construction as Highways portfolio holder of LCC at the time, and defended the route eventually built, as an essential part of the regeneration of Heysham, heaven knows, it needs it more than ever now. I told the enquiry it was first mooted in 1947, before the Preston bypass and the route had been settled since then. The inspector listened to all the concerns and agreed the case for it was overwhelming, but it still took another 15 years to get it built.The other local route Roger refers to in Burnley is the Westgate Link, which was going to connect the big roundabout at the bottom of Active Way with the duel carriageway at Trafalgar. I fought hard to keep it a County priority, indeed it was third in the programme for some years, but with the success of the car showroom and other businesses off Westgate, it was eventually abandoned, much to my regret. Interestingly, again it was the Conservative/ LibDem coalition government of 2010/2015 who cancelled it finally, although by then it had probably become too expensive for its limited value as a strategic route.As to his overall point about the appalling state of our local roads, I can only agree with him. If only the Government would grant more funding for transport in the North, like HS2 for example, or even the Colne to Skipton link, but I don’t hold out much hope, I wonder if Roger does?