A38 Expansion News

The A38 expansion and tree felling is likely to start soon.

The Secretary of State’s deadline for a decision is 8th January 2021 (only weeks away). Unless the current legal challenge is successful this project is likely to be approved. With felling of trees not permitted during the bird nesting season (from March) it is quite likely that the massive tree felling programme will start soon. Trees will be felled, and green space lost, all the way from Little Eaton to the Kingsway roundabout. (They call this “vegetation clearance” to make it not sound so bad.)

Just at Markeaton, a broad swathe of mature trees are to be felled, and land lost from the park. The loss includes a magnificent 300-year-old oak tree. Air and noise pollution will also be worse. Markeaton Park will be blighted by noise (basically a 6-lane urban ‘motorway’ slicing off its eastern edge).

Highways England calculate that the scheme here in Derby will generate 131,000 tonnes of CO2, and by 2039 emissions will be 2,700 tonnes every year higher than they would have been if they did not do this work. This is part of Highways England’s £27 billion spend on roads, which flies directly in the face of the need for the UK to rapidly reduce emissions.

The £250 million being spent here in Derby could instead be invested in creating world-leading walking and cycling routes, green corridors and generally improving the lives of us who live in this city. (In contrast, the road expansion is primarily there to encourage more heavy traffic heading to and from Birmingham.)

There is a Facebook group organising to fight this, please do join.

Also, more information on the A38 Derby Chaos website.

The photo above is from the Stonehenge roads protest on Saturday (supported by XR Derby). Lots of photos and the livestreams are on our Facebook page. This protest caught the interest of major media outlets!

E.g. see:

Some further background: The new Thames tunnel will generate 5 million tonnes of CO2, The Stonehenge tunnel about 2 million tonnes, and the A38 expansion here in Derby over a quarter of a million tonnes. So, Boris announcing “ambitious” targets is meaningless. Anyone can set targets and then ignore them. The Chancellor has promised £27 billion to roads, £100 billion to HS2 and just £1 billion for the Green Home Grant.