What Associated British Ports Could Do For Us
Letter to The Echo : 21/09/16
The expansion of Southampton port for even more business is, of course, very good news for jobs and the economy. The fact that this is taking place on the Southampton side of the water does demonstrate that we campaigners against development of Dibden Bay as a port were absolutely right. The assurances from Associated British Ports, over a decade ago, that the port would wither and die without use of this land were entirely erroneous.
For the most part, residents living near to the docks accept that the price we pay for a successful economy means that we have to put up with some of the environmental consequences, including noise nuisance, traffic congestion and even air quality problems. However, it is only fair that local people should get something more back.
Surely, the time is right for Associated British Ports to allow Dibden Bay to be used by the public as a country park. It could be managed by Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust in such a way that nature is looked after whilst giving access to the public to enjoy an important section of New Forest coastline. This would take some pressure off the more sensitive areas of the National Park.
An even more responsible approach would be to co-operate with provision of a walking route and cycle way, extending down the Waterside and some assistance to restoring the Waterside passenger railway service.
You may think I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
Councillor David Harrison
New Forest Liberal Democrats,