Conservatives Continue Fight to Avoid Traffic Chaos

Blackburn Conservatives continue to fight Labour plans for an extra 1,500 HGVs a week in the M65 Junction 4 area.

The council recently ignored Conservative concerns over increased traffic on an already congested road network and voted through plans for a new Recycling Centre on Lower Eccleshill Road. Conservative councillors at the time, led by Cllr John Pearson, voiced concerns that rail transport of waste to the site had not been properly considered, despite the site being adjacent to a live rail line.

The contractors, SUEZ, have subsequently published a feasibility note about the possibility of rail transport to the site. SUEZ note that several of their other recycling sites benefit from rail transport of waste so it is theoretically feasible, but the 'critical' issue with rail transport to the site on Lower Eccleshill Road is the lack of any rail loading facility in Lancashire for waste.

Conservative Group Leader Cllr John Slater has now written to Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, requesting the council's plans be put on hold until a Lancashire-wide re-think of rail transport for waste is considered.

Not only will there be added inconvenience to local road users, but Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council have pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2030 so instigating another 1,500 HGV journeys a week on an already congested road network makes little sense.

Rail transport of waste needs to be properly considered and assessed across Lancashire before the current plans go ahead or it may be too late to amend them to accommodate rail transport.