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View of the White Horse on the edge of Salisbury Plain taken from the route of the proposed Westbury bypass. Photo: © Jeremy Hallam‚
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Following a sucessful campaign by the White Horse Alliance (WHA), the Government has rejected the proposed Westbury bypass plan - a victory for common sense and the determination of local people to defend one of the great landscapes of England.
The WHA is a coalition of environmental organisations established in August 2007 with the common aims of opposing plans by Wiltshire County Council for construction of an eastern bypass for Westbury and seeking alternative solutions to meet transport, environmental, social and economic needs of the town of Westbury and surrounding communities in West Wiltshire.
The Alliance represents local, regional and national bodies including CPRE, The Woodland Trust, Friends of the Earth, various Parish Councils and the A36/A350 Corridor Alliance (ACA), a long-established umbrella organisation representing environment and transport campaigns along the transport corridors between the M4 and the South Coast ports.
The A36 corridor from Southampton to Bristol contained a whole chain of proposed roads, most of which through ACA`s efforts have been abandoned. The roadbuilder`s ambitions have now refocused on other variants, especially the A350, to try to create a new M4-south coast superhighway.
The area is home to some of our rarest wildlife. Amongst the 13 species of bats found here, all 4 of Europe`s most endangered are present. Dormice are also present in the direct line of the road.
Restore UK provided funding to assist with bio-diversity research relating to these valuable species.
We don't protect birds because without us they'd be dead. We protect birds because without them we might as well be.
Simon Barnes, Birds magazine