In objecting to the Jurassic Coast Highway, Mr Alex Bardswell follows a well trodden route of wild exaggeration, uncorroborated statistics and a tunnel vision which has no regard for the greater good.

In supporting the road, Mr Drax is doing what any honourable and conscientious Member of Parliament, of any reputable party, should do, which is to achieve improvements in his constituency which, in his view, will be to the benefit of his constituents.

To contest the claims made by Mr Bardswell, the line of the commonly
proposed route does not pass through any SSSI, the road is not “next to the Fleet” (from Ferrybridge, it heads north away from the sea) and HGV traffic to and from Portland, in connection with all Portland businesses, is
probably greater than in the days of the Naval Base and continues to increase year by year.

The road reduces congestion by connecting directly to the Chickerell Link and thence to the new Dorchester Road and improves the air quality for those living and working in the centre of Weymouth, in the vicinity of Boot Hill and along Buxton Road.

Improvements to public safety include removing traffic from outside three schools in Wyke Regis.

Meanwhile, Portland is approaching the status of a major port as freight approaches 500,000 tonnes annually and will soon rise to one million tonnes.

Supporting the tourist industry, seasonal cruise passengers numbers
are approaching 60,000 and rising year by year.

There are days when between 4,000 and 5,000 passengers are moved to various destinations by upwards of 100 buses, to which can be added shuttle bus services to Weymouth and elsewhere.

But to focus on these data alone is to miss the point.

The figures reflect the business that is being brought to the whole of Dorset by a wide range of companies and activities.

Business that will provide good, high quality, year round, sustainable jobs.

Jobs for our young people and the growing population.

Jobs and investment that will create the wealth that will build the houses, pay for services, provide the conditions for a prosperous and healthy community and, yes, pay for maintaining a decent environment as well.

Weymouth and Portland have some of the most depressed economic
communities in the South West.

That must change.

All of western Dorset will benefit.

Mr Bardswell sneers at “progress”.

Under the circumstances, that is just about as selfish as you can get.

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