THE Council for the Protection of Rural England has launched a devastating attack on the major motorway-building schemer announced earlier in the week by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling.
Denouncing the plans as "Darling's dinosaurs", CPRE Head of Transport Paul Hamblin lamented: "New road building didn't solve the transport crisis before and it won't again. We're on the road to nowhere with more traffic and less countryside."
"Far from dwindling, the Government's road building programme is alive and kicking. Add to the motorway widening the 53 existing trunk road schemes and 74 local roads agreed since 2000 and it is clear that the countryside is in the firing line of large scale road building."
The huge programme is concentrated mainly on the M6 between Birmingham and Manchester, the A1 north of Newcastle and trunks roads in the South West. And despite protests from conservationists, it will be met with great disappointment by many locals living in the western areas of the Yorkshire Dales.
There, residents of a series of villages along the A65 between Skipton and Settle have been promised by-passes for at least 20 years - and some plans go back to pre-World War 11 days. But there was no mention of them in this week's announcement.
We will discuss Death and Despair on the A65 in a Week in the Country tomorrow.