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The Newbury bypass, officially known as The Winchester-Preston Trunk Road (A34) (Newbury Bypass), is a 9-mile (14 km) stretch of dual carriageway road which bypasses the town of Newbury in Berkshire, England. It is located to the west of the town and forms part of the A34 road.

Between January 1996 and April 1996 the clearance of approximately 360 acres (150 ha) of land including 120 acres (49 ha) of woodland, and the felling of nearly 10,000 mature trees to make way for the construction of the road, led to some of the largest anti-road protests in European history. Around 7,000 people demonstrated on the site of the bypass route in some way and over 800 arrests being made. The cost of policing the protest (known as ‘Operation Prospect’ and run jointly by Thames Valley Policeand Hampshire Constabulary) had reached approximately £5 million by December 1996. An additional £30 million was spent on private security guards, security fencing, and security lighting while the works were in progress, of which only £7 million was budgeted for in the original contract.

The protest was known in some quarters as the Third Battle of Newbury, a name which was also adopted by one of the main protest groups. The name was chosen in reference to the English Civil War battles that took place close to the town in 1643 and1644.

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Date posted: August 9, 2013 | Author:

Categories: Documentary History