15 Sep 2009

Eco-Friendly motorway services?

Plans for an eco-friendly motorway service station between junctions 12 and 11a of the M5 are yet again on the cards - a service station has been thrown out in the past - but plans have developed further on this - not only are there measures like green roofs to lesson the impact it will have on the AONB, but there is also a rather interesting partnership between a local charity and a business specialising in motorway services.

Once fully opened, it is argued the business could produce hundreds of thousands of pounds each year for voluntary and community organisations in the county. It also hopes to provide 300 local jobs and source products locally - they claim it could be a sort of showcase of all that is good in Gloucestershire.

In the past there was a group opposing the services - no doubt they will reestablish - see their old website here: www.camsa.biz/

I have in the past been more negative about this project but have to say I am intrigued by the latest offering - you can see the website with details at:

As I said to the press today: "This scheme incorporates many very Green ideas into the ethos, design and building: it is exactly the sort of cutting edge project that we would like to applaud. However I have not seen the details and have concerns about investment in the motorway network."

A public consultation exercise into the plans will be launched next month, with two public exhibitions. The first will be held at Brookthorpe Village Hall in Stroud Road on Friday, October 2, between 2.30pm and 7pm. The second will be held at Robinswood Primary School in Underhill Road on Saturday, October 3, between 9.30am and 12.30pm. I look forward to learning more about these proposals.


Dorothea said...

If ever there was an oxymoron, "eco" motorway services is it. No holistic vision for these guys is there.

Sad to say, but the cannier developers have now cottoned on to the fact that if they decorate their plans with some sprigs of what looks like greenery, they can flatten down opposition and get some environmentalists onside. Simple divide and rule tactics - so effective.

Anonymous said...

But isn't a green service station better than a not green one and isn't it better to have mmore stops to encourage safety? I'm being sucked in by their glossy brochure??

Dorothea said...

Well you could try that argument. But then you could also try arguing that a green prison, a green abbattoir or a green concentration camp is better than a conventional one. But that wouldn't comfort those who are opposed to such institutions and activities in the first place, would it?

Andy said...

Surely a stop on this place will lessen the likelihood of an accident and if that is so a greener build is better than any other monster.

Dorothea said...

Better still to face the fact that hypermobility, mass car transport and the environmental and social destruction they cause, are coming to their inevitable dead end and instead start creating better alternatives as soon as possible.

Johnny said...

It's ridiculous to suggest that more people are going to use their cars "because there's a new service station".

So, from an environmental point of view, it doesn't make any difference at all and a green one can only be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

But why invest in motorway - as a comment above says we have got to move away from cars - peak oil is coming - what we need is that capital spent on rail services or cycle routes.

Johnny said...

As true as that is, I can't say I'm that upset because it's investment by private companies. If it were government investment then maybe it would be a bit more objectionable - unless you want complete control of all companies.

In my opinion, road safety (and just about any form of safety) should come long before the environment.

Pasqua said...

Well Johnny you've got a very warped sense of priorities. Does it not dawn on you that if we trash our environment 'road safety' becomes a complete irrelevance.

Johnny said...

That's a theory. On the other hand, crashes hurt, and that's a fact.

Please don't turn all hippy on me.

Pasqua said...

Cars do indeed hurt Johnny. Every day we have to withstand being battered by noise pollution and poisoned by carbon monoxide, benzene, and other toxic fumes. Any time you go down a country road you can see the mangled bodies of birds and animals hit by cars. I've worked in hospital and seen the young people with only a stump where a leg was before a car ploughed into them. I've known children who have had their mother mown down and killed by a careless motorist.

And the terrible toll of the infernal combustion engine goes on and on. Worldwide literally millions of human beings are killed and maimed every single year.

If being concerned about this makes me a 'hippy', then I'd be proud to be a hippy rather than someone who turns a blind eye of callous and selfish indifference.

Anonymous said...

And what do you mean trashing our environments only a theory???

Johnny said...

Trashing the environment isn't a theory - the English language doesn't allow that - but the consequences of that certainly are. And there's nothing more irritating than when people try to misrepresent them as facts.

I'm a bit confused here - do you long for the days where we travelled by horse and cart and steam train?

The car has been invented and has indeed made its mark. You're never going to be able to convince people to get rid of it, or even to regulate its usage - just look at the flop that was the York so-called car-free day.

So rather than dreaming of a world without them, it would make more sense to accept that they're always going to be there and working with them. Cars are always going to be made, so welcome the greener ones. Motorway services are always going to be built, so support the green ones. Welcome the fact that our accident levels are now as low as they were in the 1920s. Congestion is awful for air and noise pollution, so welcome plans to get rid of it. (Brother lives on the old A27 in the middle of a town, so I can tell you all about congestion, environmentalists and by-passes if you want me to.)

Don't forget that the Highways Agency is the second biggest tree-planter in the UK: second to the Forestry Commission.

Anonymous said...

- Cars are always going to be made - LOLLL You have a touching faith Johnny, but then its the sort of thing shortsighted people have always said through the ages.

- You're never going to be able to convince people to get rid of it, or even to regulate its usage - And thats obviously idiotic too. Cars are regulated by loads of laws and restrictions now - its not the 1920s anymore you know. There on the way out just face facts.

Johnny said...

Nothing like a few manners, eh?

You know full well that both the car industry and driving generally are not half as regulated as they would be if you had your way.

So where's this successor to the car then? I don't deny that cars will change, and possibly be phased out, but only in favour of another form of personal mobility.

If, next year, the entire world's population turns around and says "We've had a car for over 100 years now, I'm getting a bit bored of it, let's never use one ever again and walk everywhere from now on", I will take it upon myself to personally recycle every single one of my organs. Until then, I'll carry on driving with everyone else.

You're right it's not the 1920s any more, as in the 1920s the national speed limit had not long increased from 12mph. (Feels like heaven, eh?)

I think these country lanes lined with roadkill are a sign of something more sinister, after all all the country lanes I've been along have only litter. Unless, by roadkill, you mean flysplats, a sign of the evil Nazi-come-car driver at work.

Integration and harmony are great things.