David and Goliaths in war on link road

View of M6 Junction 34. Re Link Road. Stock Pic. Heysham Bypass.
View of M6 Junction 34. Re Link Road. Stock Pic. Heysham Bypass.

A globally renowned company is supporting campaigners against the Heysham M6 link road in what they call a battle of the “Davids against the Goliaths”.

Ethical cosmetics company Lush, which has a shop in Lancaster’s Horseshoe Corner, as well as outlets around the world, said it had given funding to Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe (TSLM), to pay for expert advice and representation.

The company said it was “proud” to be involved in the campaign - fronted by local campaigner David Gate.

Environmental activist Rebecca Lush Blum, from Lush (no relation), said: “We admire and respect local community campaign groups who work tirelessly to protect their environment. We support many local, grassroots groups like this throughout the country. We particularly admire TSLM’s thoughtful and evidence based approach and wanted to help them make the arguments for sustainable transport, for wildlife and for tackling climate change.

“With such an uneven playing field in development decisions, Lush likes to aid the ‘Davids against the Goliaths’.”

The company, which is based in Poole, Dorset, said it was not TSLM’s only source of funds and described the group as having “significant public support”.

Lush said it supported many community groups who worked to protect their environment from issues such as fracking, airport expansion, road building and incineration, as well as local groups campaigning for the reopening of railway lines.

Earlier this month, TSLM applied to the Courts for a right to appeal against a Judge’s ruling that gave the road the all clear again.

Despite failing to convince The Secretary of State for Transport and High Court Judge Justice Turner that the plans for the road were legally flawed, TSLM have continued to thwart Lancashire County Council’s progression at every step, now pushing back the intended start date for the project until well into next year.

Mr Gate said: “We have taken legal advice. There are errors in the judge’s decision, and there are good grounds for a successful appeal against it. So we shall ask the courts for permission to appeal.”

He added: “This judgement was on the legal process, not the road itself.

“It is still crystal clear that this road is not value for money.
“It will not help congestion in Lancaster. It will not help regeneration in Morecambe.

“Sacrificing our Green Belt is too high a price to pay for such dubious benefits.”