Congratulations to Mr Carlyle for bringing the Queensway Gateway scheme to at least a temporary halt.
Apart from apparently being ignorant of the policy on air quality, it was scandalous that the planning committee previously just nodded through a basically flawed case from an organisation that has patently failed to deliver, or got anywhere near delivering, on its previous promises of job creation.
It appears that the farce of the Queensway business park has been conveniently forgotten about.
I previously worked in an organisation producing business cases for major projects, and if we had put forward a case that basically says that building business premises equates to creating jobs, and came with such a track record, it would quite rightly have been laughed out of court.
As for other claimed benefits, anyone who thinks the building of roads and industrial premises can ever actually contribute positively to air quality is living in cloud cuckoo land, as this flies in the face of all the evidence.
It is also surely self evident by now that building more roads of this nature to relieve traffic congestion simply does not work, as the traffic grows to fill the extra space initially available, ending up in a worse position than to start with.
The solution is not simple but must involve addressing the issue and not its symptoms – reducing the need for travel rather than trying to create ever increasing capacity.
Similarly, make use of existing spare industrial space, if the demand is really there, before building yet more.
I have yet to speak to or hear from anyone with anything positive to say about the link road and its various off-shoots.
What does it say about our democratic process that politicians, who are supposed to reflect the opinions of those they purport to represent, are still determined to push ahead with schemes like this that are not wanted?
Another case of ‘we know better’?
To avoid further instances of the waste of public money, I suggest both the county and borough councils consider adopting the following best practice, taken from my previous organisation:
Future business cases to include time delineated benefits, defined in precise and measurable terms;
Also to include a benefits realisation plan, whereby someone independent checks and measures the actual benefits achieved, as against those predicted in the case.
As an adjunct I also suggest that those politicians and others who support the case put their names to it and agree, should the claimed benefits not in fact be realised, to resign from whatever positions they hold!
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