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Fresh air

A  letter has been sent to the leader of the Council, Barney Crockett, asking for a study of the impact the 3rd Don Crossing is to have on the Tillydrone Community. Letter to Leader of Council

Another letter has been sent to Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie, Director of Public Health NHSGrampian for support to this request. Letter to Public Health

If this health impact assessment is conducted properly it will demonstrate the price the people of the community will have to pay in for this bridge and road, and this will be in lives and health.

Recently the City of Sheffield which has twice the population as Aberdeen estimate each year air pollution causes 500 early deaths and costs the economy £16 million.  This gives an indication of what is in store for Tillydrone and Aberdeen with some extra 15,000 cars to be added to this new route on completion of the Grandholm development.

Today five EU judges have ruled that the UK has failed in its legal duty to protect people from the harmful effects of air pollution, and this includes the City of Aberdeen. http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2012_0179_Judgment.pdf

Aberdeen City will be continuing the flouting of EU environmental law by building a road bridge across the Don and introducing heavy air pollutants into the vulnerable community of Tillydrone.

If Aberdeen City breaks the law, citizens can demand justice and the courts must act.

 Image

Throughout the campaign to get the 3rd Don Crossing approved Aberdeen City Council Roads engineers have argued that the air quality in Tillydrone was good, and poor in Seaton. This was stated on the report issued to Council upon which the decision was made to approve the development. It was a fundamental point on which the Reporter judged in favour of the crossing at the Compulsory Order Inquiry, and it was the main argument of  our own ward councillor when the Labour arm of the coalition was out voted to progress the crossing in December last. We have researched air quality data for the two localities and found that the situation is the inverse.This is significant as it means that the Third Don Crossing was approved on the basis of false information and in effect crucial information as the development is certainly going to effect the health of citizens, especially children, the aged and people of poor health. This plan must be called in.

Why air Tilly v Seaton air quality is significant

Today Tillydrone Community Council submitted comments on the Framework Document for the 7,000 property development to the North East of Aberdeen.

Grandholm Development Consultation Response

The development is lauded as a sustainable development based on the environmentally holistic ideals of a famous German Naturalist.

Our response highlights how the development is actually slotted into a transport network entirely dependent on motorised transport with the the 3rd Don Crossing providing a radial artery into the centre of Aberdeen. This unsustainable transport strategy will increase congestion, pollution and will increase Aberdeen’s already excessive carbon footprint.

We highlight the irony of a proposed sustainable development being serviced by a route to carry traffic into the heart of the city, despoiling the river Don valley, removing mature trees, disturbing wildlife habitats, blighting sites of heritage and destroying the well being of a community by air and noise pollution.

Farcical Inquiry

 

 

On 18th March I received a copy of the report and recommendation on the inquiry into the compulsory purchase orders for the 3rd Don Crossing.

 

Having read through the report and attended the Inquiry on the 29th and 30th November on which the reporter, Mr. Culshaw is reporting my assessment can only be that this is a complete travesty of an inquiry.

The reporters conclusions are obviously biased, which is clearly evident to any objective person reading the inquiry documentation.

 

In the reasoning for his recommendation Mr Culshaw states:

“There is a clearly established need for the scheme”.

However t here was ample evidence provided at the Inquiry to demonstrate that this is not the case. i.e.

  1. It will not only relocate congestion but increase it.
  2. The only means of reducing congestion in Aberdeen apart from road usage charging is by modal shift. (This has been recognised in recent European Commission documents)

 

Culshaw states. “It is supported by the structure plan”

Documents presented to the Inquiry demonstrated that the scheme was a late insertion to the plan and that it contradicted the sustainability ethos of the plan. The plan provides no information to support the scheme. I merely refers to it as an action.

 

Culshaw adds “ It is supported by regional and local transport strategies.”

Likewise, it was made obvious that the scheme had been added to the strategies at a late stage evident by single unsupported references with absolutely no relationship to the sustainability aims of the strategies.

 

Culshaw says it had “been granted planning permission”

He was informed throughout the Inquiry that the planning process was undemocratic and a fait accompli. The fact that planning permission had been granted has no relevance to the need for the scheme.

 

Culshaw notes that the alternatives to the scheme put forward by the alliance had been “justifiably ruled out”

However evidence at the Inquiry demonstrated otherwise. It was made absolutely clear that the alternatives were not adequately considered by Aberdeen City Council.

 

Culshaw asserts that “suitable mitigation will be put in place” for the adverse impacts of the scheme.

He should be aware from evidence presented at the inquiry that the effects will be severe and no mitigation measures could possibly adequately address the detrimental effects of the scheme.

 

Culshaw adds “those disadvantages… are outweighed by the desirability of the scheme for Aberdeen as a whole..”

He has ignored the strong evidence presented that the scheme will increase congestion on an already seriously congested city and increase pollution in a city already flouting European clean air laws.

 

By saying “Some diminution in air quality in Tillydrone is outweighed by improvement in air quality in more polluted parts of Aberdeen” Culshaw shamelessly trivialises serious health issues.

His assertion that air pollution created by the road “is outweighed by improvement in air quality in more polluted parts of Aberdeen “ cannot be made, as it is based on projection from models demonstrated throughout the Inquiry to be seriously flawed. In fact ACC Air Quality Officer has stated in a recent report that this very modelling has resulted in false predicted outcomes.

 

The reporters reasoning s and likewise the recommendation are therefore obviously biased, I cannot accept this farcical decision.

This outcome is on a par with the eviction of communities by authorities in China, who are at least honest enough not to dress up their intentions with a phoney inquiry and have the decency to provide adequate compensation to the victims.

 

 

 

 

 

The Aberdeen Press and Journal revealed in its Friday 13th January 2012 edition that the City Council legal representative at the Compulsory Purchase Order Inquiry had written to the Scottish Government reporter after the closing statements had been submitted by both sides. The report says “Fiona Selbie claimed submissions made by the authority at a two-day hearing last month ‘carry more weight’ than those of the alliance protesters”.

This  demonstrates the lack of confidence the City Council have in their case and the action may have breached the protocol of the Inquiry. Nonetheless,  everyone who attended the Inquiry knows Ms Selbie’s claims are far from the truth and that the arguments of Ms Selbie and the entourage of overpaid Council engineers and expensive consultants (funded by taxes on the objectors themselves) where completely demolished by representatives of the alliance.

Read the final statements of the Council and the alliance, and judge for yourself which carries greatest weight.

The final paragraph of the alliance submission reads “The TDC is not the answer to Aberdeen’s acknowledged traffic problem there are many more imaginative and sustainable ways to tackle it than the one proposed which would cause so much disruption and misery to so many  local residents in a disadvantaged part of Aberdeen. Not only is it not wanted, it is not needed either”.

Location of Bridge

The Aberdeen and Shire Strategic plan is being developed, with the Third Don Crossing included in its proposals which have been put out for consultation. The rhetoric is for sustainable growth but the action proposed is sadly a continuation of the developments that have resulted in the current congested transport mess. Of course I make this point in my response which unfortunately I rushed in late for the closing date 6th January 2012. Here is my response:- Strategic Plan – My Response to Questions

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