DAMAGED: A site meeting hopes to find ways of preventing HGVs from doing further damage to Barnard Castle’s iconic Market Cross HIGHWAYS England and Durham County Council officers have seen first hand how Barnard Castle s historic landmarks are taking a battering from heavy trucks. The number of times chunks have been knocked from the Market Cross, County Bridge and Egglestone Abbey Bridge has shot up since traffic started being diverted through the town during overnight closures of the A1 near Scotch Corner. In an effort to find solutions Durham Police, Victims and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg called a meeting with highway authorities as well as Teesdale s MP Helen Goodman, Barnard Castle Town Council, Teesdale Action Partnership and county councillors for the area. Fingers are being pointed at Highways England for damage on Abbey Bridge caused by HGVs in recent months but the agency says it is unfair for only one scheme to take the blame. Ms Goodman said the bridge had been hit five times. That has all been this summer so something has changed, she added. Durham County Council was also admonished for allowing the town to be used as a diversion route with Cllr Richard Bell saying the authority had been out-footed by North Yorkshire County Council which had the foresight to place restrictions on heavy vehicles in its towns and villages ahead of construction work starting on the A1. However, the county s strategic traffic manager Dave Wafer indicated there were no other suitable routes for a diversion. Ms Goodman responded: I think you should look again, because you are destroying a listed structure. Relief road campaigner Phil Hunt asked whether a proper risk assessment had been done prior to the route being chosen and suggested that if one had been done, it had not been done effectively. Highways England has agreed to make the risk assessment available. Assistant project manager for the A1 improvement scheme from Barton to Leeming, Charlotte Wright, said a concerted effort had been made to reduce the number of overnight closures and by May this had been reduced by 15 per cent. Plans are in place to reduce the closures even further up to September. She added that CCTV cameras are put up to monitor the bridge whenever the diversion route is in operation. Ms Wright said: Ultimately this isn t our network so we have no control over it, but we want to be good neighbours and help where we can. While she said the decision to close the A1 at night was taken because traffic flows were reduced at that time, it was pointed out that the bridge is more difficult to navigate in the dark. It was suggested that temporary lighting be installed. William Salvin, manager for the nearby Mortham Estate which once owned the bridge, said vegetation was obscuring the bridge, so truck drivers could not anticipate how difficult it is to get around. He added: We are all now on the back foot. We all have lists of concerns and lists of damage, with no clear indication of who to direct them to. Mr Hogg said people should submit ideas and potential short term solutions to his office so he can approach the various authorities to see if they can be implemented. He said: Over the longer term we need to see if it is possible to implement some form of restriction on heavy vehicles going through the town. It is the biggest ones that are doing the damage and knocking the heritage to pieces. He added that these schemes may need to be included in the County Durham Plan. County councillor for Barnard Castle East George Richardson warned that juggernauts coming through the town had been an issue for many years and a solution had yet to be found. Standing on Newgate, near the Market Cross, he said: This road was built for horses and carts. There is no easy option there. The promise to look at the suggestions may be a way forward but there may be no solution. Even if we get a relief road there will be a number of HGVs that need to come into the town. Cllr Ted Henderson added: This (site meeting) has taken a long time to arrange, it may be that the only solution is a relief road.
Category: East Yorkshire
Reference Library – Local Blogs – East Yorkshire
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Anders Behring Breivik, who has been declared sane over killing 77 people last year, makes a salute in the courtroom in Oslo (AP) ‘Be under no illusion, we are at war. And it is a war we are losing badly.’ These were the words found scribbled on notes belonging to Martyn Gilleard, a neo-Nazi from East Yorkshire who was imprisoned in 2008 for 16 years for terror offences. Thought to be planning attacks on Muslims, Jews, and black people, police found a cache of weapons  including homemade nail bombs, gunpowder, fuses, bullets, and swords in Gilleard s flat. Share Go To The murder of Jo Cox MP  and the subsequent spate of post-EU referendum racist attacks have brought to light the simmering reality of the far-right in the UK. Worryingly, for far too long the threat posed by far-right British and European terrorists (yes, terrorists) has been allowed to fall under the radar  . This problem will only be tackled with the rise of political and social movements intent on changing the prejudice inherent in our characterisation of terrorism and with a greater recognition of the multiple frontiers on which we ought to be combating terrorism. I vividly recall the first time that I witnessed the ugliness of far-right, anti-Muslim hatred. It was more than a decade ago at a funeral, of all places, in the south east of England. Only hours after burying someone very dear to me, I tearfully walked away from his grave towards the entrance of the burial ground. Lost in my emotions, I thought nothing of a pick-up-truck rushing towards me, until my thoughts were disrupted by the sound of brakes screeching and rubber skidding along the road. No sooner had the truck stopped, that the driver and passenger sped off screaming that Muslims should go back to where they came from; while their words were directed at me, it felt as though they were addressing the world at large. As they left, an object flew past me and thumped the group. It was a pig s head. Read more Nazi grandad “regrets” Swastika tattoo  Israel’s nightmare: Homegrown neo-Nazis in the Holy Land  Anders Breivik writes fan letter to German ‘Nazi killer’  Neo-Nazi jailed for life after he tried to behead man because he was Asian  The incident provoked some important questions in my mind: What would cause someone to do such a thing? And irrespective of hate, how could anyone consider it humane or civilised to act in this way after a funeral? As for the intended offence itself, it did not offend me; I was more bothered by the thought of a poor pig losing its head for the sake of a twisted and deluded moment of hate. In reality, there is no logic to what those people did, just as there is no logic to all acts of hate be it someone shouting Paki from across the street, or an act of terrorism (keep it to yourself, but the joke s on the racists as the literal etymology of calling someone a Paki is to say that they are pure!). And that s the whole point about hate, it is a human emotion that suffocates all traces of logic and reason. Take Amjid Mehmood  , for example, a West-Midlands road maintenance worker subjected to a nine-month campaign of violence and hate by three colleagues. Among the torments, Mehmood had his hands bound, was force-fed pork, had a rucksack with wires protruding from it placed on his locker, and had his trousers set alight while he was wearing them! What was the need or the point for this man to suffer in this way? These were senseless acts of pure hate. Nevertheless, the pointlessness of such hate does not lessen the threat posed by this ever-present and real threat to the UK. Other examples of this existential threat, particularly since the turn of the millennium, are too numerous to ignore or put down to fringe, mentally disturbed, middle-aged white men. In 2010 42-year-old Ian Davison of County Durham, a senior member of the Aryan Strike Force” (ASF), was the first man in the UK to be found guilty  of developing a chemical weapon. He developed ricin in his kitchen, which he had hoped to kill Jews and Muslims with. In 2014 Pavlo Lapshyn  , 25, stabbed to death Mohammed Saleem, 82, as Saleem returned home from the evening prayers at his local Mosque in Birmingham. Lapshyn also set off bombs outside three UK Mosques and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. In the East Midlands, Kamal Raza Butt, 48, suffered the same fate as Saleem in 2005 when three men beat him to death  in Nottingham. The growing number of far-right, often neo-Nazi, plots against Muslims, Jews, and other minority groups belong to a wider pattern of criminal behaviour spread across the breadth of Europe. In 2011 five members of a Russian neo-Nazi group shouted  :”Our conscience is above your laws, we’ll be back” as the court sentenced them to 23 years for the murder of 27 Muslim and dark-skinned people across a one year period. They shared the same hate that Anders Breivik carried with him as he slaughtered 77 fellow Norwegians, spurred by his right-wing ideology  . A more recent example came on the eve of this summer s European Championships in France when French neo-Nazi Gregoire Moutaux  , 25, was arrested on the border between the Ukraine and Poland. A self-identified Islamophobe and anti-Semite, Moutaux planned to stage 15 attacks on Muslims in France, aided by a ‘vast arsenal’ including five Kalashnikov assault rifles, two anti-tank grenade launchers, 5000 rounds of ammunition, and 125kg of TNT explosives. Few will have heard of Moutaux and his potentially devastating plan. One wonders, though, if this would have been the case had he been a Muslim affiliate of Isis? And herein lies part of the problem. As has been written previously  , we currently have no agreed on definition of terrorism  , meaning that each government, journalist, and tweeter can identify whomever they like as a terrorist. The natural result has been the development of a narrative that perpetuates the idea that terrorism is a uniquely Muslim problem. To be clear, there are undoubtedly terrible people who identify themselves as Muslim and commit acts of terrorism. However, we also know that over the past decades the majority of terrorist attacks have been state-sponsored  , largely by non-Muslim countries. Moreover, that non-state terrorism  has been carried out by a broad range of people from diverse backgrounds and geographical areas. So here is the critical question that we need to ask ourselves and the media: Do we view Caucasian, European acts of terrorism in the same way that we view so-called Muslim terrorists? To my mind, the answer is no. Therefore, the UK and Europe need to fully recognise the dangerous reality of far-right hate crimes and terrorism perpetrated against anyone who does not fit its ugly mould. To quote the late and great Muhammad Ali: It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe. References ^ Nazi sympathiser Martyn Gilleard jailed for 16 years (www.telegraph.co.uk) ^ murder of Jo Cox MP (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk) ^ Focus on Islamist terror plots overlooks threat from far right report (www.theguardian.com) ^ Nazi grandad “regrets” Swastika tattoo (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk) ^ Israel’s nightmare: Homegrown neo-Nazis in the Holy Land (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk) ^ Anders Breivik writes fan letter to German ‘Nazi killer’ (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk) ^ Neo-Nazi jailed for life after he tried to behead man because he was Asian (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk) ^ Colleagues jailed for race abuse (news.bbc.co.uk) ^ Neo-Nazi Jailed in U.K. for Planning Chemical Attacks on Jews, Muslims read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/neo-nazi-jailed-in-u-k-for-planning-chemical-attacks-on-jews-muslims-1.290459 (www.haaretz.com) ^ News Politics Football Sport Celebs TV & Film Weird News TRENDINGNEXT CONSERVATIVE LEADEREU REFERENDUMDAVID CAMERONBREXITWEATHER Technology Money Travel Fashion Mums Home News UK News Murder Pavlo Lapshyn: Ukrainian Neo-Nazi wanted to start a race war on the streets of Britain (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ Islamophobia blamed for attack (www.theguardian.com) ^ Russia neo-Nazis jailed for life over 27 race murders (www.bbc.co.uk) ^ A study of Anders Breivik s murderous rampage in 2011 has echoes of American Psycho (www.theguardian.com) ^ Frenchman ‘who planned 15 terror attacks targeting Muslims and Jews during Euro 2016 because he was sick of mass migration and spread of Islam’ is arrested with weapons haul in Ukraine (www.dailymail.co.uk) ^ Terrorism is a global problem, not a Muslim one (www.middleeasteye.net) ^ Inside Terrorism (books.google.co.uk) ^ Global Terrorism (books.google.co.uk) ^ non-state terrorism (www.start.umd.edu)