MEDIA: What The Papers Say - Newbury bypass closure news perfectly timed

The news that the Newbury bypass would be closed for resurfacing little more than ten months after opening could have provoked an uproar, but the Highways Agency announcement, slipped out just before the bank holiday, appeared to catch the media in a late-August slumber.

The news that the Newbury bypass would be closed for resurfacing

little more than ten months after opening could have provoked an uproar,

but the Highways Agency announcement, slipped out just before the bank

holiday, appeared to catch the media in a late-August slumber.



In contrast to the acres of coverage generated by the opening of the

bitterly-opposed road last year, its closure and the re-routing of

traffic back through Newbury generated but a glimmer of media

interest.



Following AA predictions of a ’return to the bad old pre-bypass days’

(Press Association, 1/9/99), reporting was focused squarely on the

traffic tailbacks, with little attention paid to the reason behind the

premature resurfacing.



The Evening Standard had the most comprehensive coverage, highlighting

the ’construction blunder’ (1/9/99) which caused the road to crumble,

but the blushes of the Highways Agency and engineering firm Costain were

largely spared in what proved to be a well-timed piece of news

management.



Evaluation supplied by Echo Research. Cuttings supplied by Broadcast

Monitoring Company. This article can also be found at

www.echoResearch.com.



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