Immediate release Friday 17th May



Newbury Bypass Campaign Continues


The National press would have you believe that its all over at Newbury. Not so. The clearance contract to fell trees and remove vegetation from the route of the Newbury bypass may have been completed. However the construction contract has not been signed. It will creating cuttings, embankments, bridges and the road itself, causing more substantive and prolonged damage to our environment than the scar of the clearance contract. The campaign focus now shifts to defending the land; preventing erection of 20 miles of high security fencing and stopping the construction of a site compound.

The degree of protest at Newbury has been unparalleled and the clearance contract, initially budgeted at 1.86 million pounds, ended costing 12 million pounds in additional security and policing. The construction contract, initially budgeted at 100 million pounds, excluding additional security and policing costs, is expected to be subject to further sustained protest. The opportunity to save tax payers money and instigate a integrated transport system remains. Complaints to the European Ombudsman and the designation of an Special Area of Conservation, around the home of the rare Desmoulin's whirl snail on the bypass route, could still lead to the road's review and abandonment.

Green student groups affiliated to the Green Student Network are being asked to participate in actions this summer. Costain, the contractor expected to 'win' the Newbury contract are being targeted for actions in late May and beyond. Protestors and activists from the Third Battle of Newbury campaign are offering slide shows and presentations on the past, present and future of the Newbury Campaign to Green groups in universities around the country. Contact your Green Student Network affiliates for details of dates at your university. Alternatively student liasion officer for the Third Battle of Newbury, Cath Bann, may be contacted via the Third Battle of Newbury office[1].

Thousands of students are expected to head for Newbury this summer, a planned Arts festival being programmed for the August Bank holiday. Meanwhile the number of protest camps continues to grow, there are now nine just off route. All are welcome but come prepared to be self sufficient. So forget inter-railing, Glastonbury and get down to Newbury this summer!

Editors Notes

[1] Third Battle Office Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday. Occasional weekend cover.

Information hotline: 01635 550552, updated daily available 24 hours.

General enquires: 01635 45544 or Fax 01635 45545.

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