Letter: Don’t believe road myths

The term ‘missing link’ usually refers to a species forming part of human evolutionary process.  After investigation, each suspected ‘missing link’ species has always been declared as being an evolutionary dead end.

It’s odd that Councillor Tom Hanson has employed this image to refer to the second Tyne road tunnel project (“Tyne Tunnel is ‘Missing Link’ to our Success”, Gazette, March 26).  However, the comparison is not far off the mark, considering that it’s now generally accepted that new road building is not a long term solution to congestion.

Cllr Hanson claims that the existing tunnel arrangement is a ‘brake’ on economic development, yet fails to provide evidence to support this nonsense.  Contrary to this portrayal of deceleration, nearly every day the Shields Gazette features new opportunities and jobs coming to South Tyneside, and hardly a week passes without MPs Hepburn and Miliband telling us we’ve never had it so good in the borough.

Supporters of new road building regularly dust off the same old fossilised tripe that roads bring prosperity.  Repeatedly, they are proven wrong.  Evidence from other road projects, like the A55 in North Wales, suggests that new road building has a destructive effect on local economies.

Those behind the proposed tunnel should realise that, like the elusive ‘missing link’, the myth that ‘roads create wealth’ is extinct.

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