Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Lottery rejects Heath road but the campaign goes on

The Lottery will not be paying for the City of London to turn the footpath on the Heath into a vehicle only service road. We’ve just heard that the Corporation’s bid to build the road, and to make other changes to our part of the Heath, has been turned down. But the Say No To The Road campaign is not celebrating yet. It’s good news in the sense that the Corporation will have to think again about its plans but it doesn’t mean we can pack up and go home. We still need to convince the Corporation that the road is a bad idea.

Huge opposition

Our strongest argument is the 10,000 people who have signed our petition forms or signed up on line. We find it hard to believe that the Corporation could propose to go ahead with the road, given this overwhelming evidence that local opinion is opposed to it. Since we handed in our petition to the Corporation, and officially stopped collecting signatures, another 314 people have signed the paper sheets and 800 signed up on-line. As of today, the total is 9,750. Many thanks to all the people who helped gather signatures, who signed up, who joined us on our action days or who wrote letters of protest. Your support has been fantastic.

What comes next

We are hopeful that the Corporation will take a fresh look at the whole issue now that the Lottery bid has been rejected. There is a good chance of a new start as the leadership at the Corporation is changing. Bob Hall, the chairman of the Heath Management committee, is leaving after doing his three years in the job. A new chair will be elected on 22 May. We hope that we can meet that person soon and, if possible, help them find ways of coming up with an alternative to the road. But be prepared. The Corporation may want to press ahead regardless, so we may well have to call on you again.