Environment protestors make their voices heard before Shropshire Local Plan talks

Eco activists have greeted attendees at the start of public hearings into the draft Shropshire Local Plan with a noisy demonstration.

Demonstrators gathered outside the venue this morning
Demonstrators gathered outside the venue this morning

Protestors campaigning against the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road and 'unsustainable housing' turned up with drums and placards to make their point before the start of the two-week hearings into the local plan.

Organised by Better Shrewsbury Transport (BeST) outside the Shrewsbury Town Football Club venue on Tuesday morning, it also included people wanting freight to be taken off the roads and put onto rail.

Mike Streetly, speaking on behalf of campaign group Better Transport Shrewsbury said “Shropshire Council needs to stop pouring money into a black hole and start thinking seriously about measures to shift journeys from cars to other modes of transport. The business case for the NWRR is based entirely on large amounts of traffic growth and this is not the path to a net zero society.”

Mr Streetly, from Belle Vue in Shrewsbury added: "No one is against building new houses, but they have to be in the right place and they have to be sustainable. If the North West Relief Road ends up creating even more traffic in Shrewsbury, then it won’t offer any 'relief' at all."

BeST is an alliance of local organisations and individuals campaigning for urgent action to promote active and sustainable modes of transport that are the only effective ways to reduce congestion, poor air quality and road deaths/injuries in the town while transforming lives for the better.

Also represented were Shropshire Wildlife Trust, CPRE - Campaign to Protect Rural England, Friends of the Earth Shrewsbury, Extinction Rebellion Shrewsbury, Sustainable Transport Shropshire, The Green Party and Shrewsbury Liberal Democrats.

Ed Tate, who farms near Shrewsbury, said: "I have worked for 20 years to enhance biodiversity of the river and the road would put another barrier into the town's green wedge."

Mr Tate said he supported Shrewsbury Town Council's almost unanimous vote against the relief road.

Sal Mager, of Extinction Rebellion, said: "We are meant to be in a climate emergency but there is no change in their plans and no investment in sustainable transport."

Barry Mitchell added that in his view the relief road would be a "waste of money".

Audrey Menhinick, from Shrewsbury, who chairs the Shropshire Way Association and is a keen walker, said: "I am very much against the North West Relief Road."

Steve Boulding, with a Put Freight on Rail placard, said he was there to protest on a range of issues, and added: "A lot of this is at the behest of the road haulage lobby."

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