Plans by the UK government to push through a new programme of road-building is attracting opposition from environmentalists. The planned schemes threaten a number of supposedly protected wildlife sites, including 4 National Parks, 7 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 39 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, 3 National Nature Reserves, 54 Ancient Woods and 234 Local Wildlife Sites. The cumulative cost of the schemes is £30bn, which is four times the internationally-negotiated total global budget for biodiversity protection.
It seems that the lessons of the recent past have not been learnt by UK policymakers; a hugely controversial roadbuilding programme was opposed in the 1990s by a wave of determined action by protestors, which led to large cuts in the programme, and thus many schemes being scrapped and green places spared. The fact that campaigners are mobilizing on a national scale again to oppose the new roads is a welcome response to the return of the bulldozer mentality.