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Opposition to road building has been at the heart of environmental campaigning for over half a century and goes to the very core of many issues, including how we travel, protection of the natural world and climate change. This event brings together three speakers who have been part of this story and who will explore how road protests went from local campaigns to mass direct action. It is a tale of heartbreak, passion and courage that will delve into some of the biggest environmental challenges of our era.

Helen Baczkowska:  'Twyford Rising' - voices of resistance from Twyford Down

Helen Baczkowska is a writer and ecologist living in rural Norfolk.  Her writing explores the histories, both natural and human, of places, as well as memories of 30 years as an environmental activist. In 2021, Helen was shortlisted for the Nan Shepherd prize for under-represented voices in nature writing: Helen's book Twyford Rising, land and resistance, was published in 2020, under the name Helen Beynon. It is an oral history of Britain’s first direct action road protest camp at Twyford Down in 1992. 

John Stewart: Campaigning against Road Building: how tactics and strategies changed over the decades
John Stewart has worked and campaigned in the field of transport for over 40 years at both a local and national level. In the 1980s he chaired ALARM (All London Against The Road Building Menace), a network of 250 local groups, which defeated the Government's plans for a £12bn highway plan for London. In the 1990s he chaired the national network, ALARM UK. From 2000 - 2020 was the co-ordinator of HACAN (which gives a voice to residents under the Heathrow flight path) which played a leading role in defeating plans for a third runway at Heathrow. Currently, he is chair of Campaign for Better Transport, the UK Noise Association and vice chair of the European network of airport community groups, UECNA. He is the author of Why Noise Matters, published by Earthscan in 2011.

Rebecca Lush (TAN): Roads campaigning from 2005 to the present

Rebecca is a life-long environmental campaigner, specialising in transport activism. She became involved when Twyford Down was bulldozed for the M3 motorway in 1992, near where she grew up.  She played a leading part in this campaign, and many of the prominent campaigns against roadbuilding in the 1990s, including the Newbury Bypass protest. She attended the first UN COP climate talks in Berlin in 1995, taking part in the first protests about the lack of progress in tackling rising carbon emissions. She established Road Block in 2005, an alliance of community groups against the new roads programme, and in 2007 became the first Roads and Climate Campaigner for Campaign for Better Transport. She is now the Roads and Climate Campaigner at Transport Action Network, supporting local communities campaigning on transport issues.

All welcome- this session is free to attend, but booking in advance is required.