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Thousands call for halt to bypasses.

Byline: Sarah Probert

Environment Reporter - Up to 7,000 people in the Midlands have voiced their objection to the creation of two controversial bypasses in Worcestershire and Staffordshire.

Objectors voiced their concerns about the proposed Wolverhampton and Stourbridge bypasses in letters to the Government Office for the West Midlands during a consultation on the plans.

The Regional Planning Guidance (RPG), which sets out a planning blueprint for the West Midlands over the next 25 years, includes the controversial road building schemes, which have been proposed to boost regeneration in the Black Country.

The letters were received as the consultation for the RPG ended prior to an examination in public of the proposals in June.

Peter Sturgeon, of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, who lives in the Worcestershire village of Belbroughton near to one of the proposed bypass routes, said: 'It just shows that there is a tremendous opposition to it.'

Mr Sturgeon, who has been a tireless campaigner against the bypass, added: 'We have been working behind the scenes trying to influence the people that matter and this public interest has come about by accident because what we have been doing is alerting councils to the problem.'

The objections follow the launch of a feasibility study on the route looking at long distance traffic movements and how it could help regenerate the Black Country by providing better transport links.

The study was launched last month before Ministers have even approved the plans.

It has triggered concerns that the study could influence decisions to introduce larger road building schemes through the back door.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 4, 2002
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