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Parties clash over bid to solve traffic nightmare
AN attempt to set up a special panel to investigate ways in which to tackle traffic congestion in Worcester has failed.
Worcestershire County Council’s Labour group wanted to establish a new working group that would look at solutions for easing the gridlock. But their attempt was rejected by the Conservative leadership, which insisted the body would duplicate what is already being done elsewhere. Under Labour’s idea, a cross-party panel of city and county councillors would investigate ways of easing traffic along notorious routes like the A4440 Southern Link Road, establishing more resident parking schemes, improving public transport and considering the future of park and ride.
But the Tories said the county council, which is responsible for transport and roads, already has enough mechanisms in place to talk with city politicians.
A motion calling on the new panel to launch was thrown out after a vote during a full council meeting.Councillor Alan Amos, of the Labour group, said: “The city of Worcester has enormous and growing traffic problems and it’s getting worse, not better. The population of the city will explode if all the houses earmarked for land around its boundaries are actually delivered.
“During the evening it can take 20 minutes to get from one side of the city to the other, and congestion is one issue businesses always raise, so there is a cost to dealing with it.” His call was backed by Coun Richard Udall, who said: “The issues raised in this motion are some of the biggest around Worcester.
“They unite and divide people around the city, and solutions are needed now as to how we tackle it – nobody has a monopoly on being right – County Hall does not always know best.”
How about someone with an ounce of sense just listens to the suggestion - bridge in Hallow area and dualling of the Southern link -all of it, not just a small stretch!Mr A Mazing
But the Tories rejected the idea despite Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Green Party and UKIP all backing the motion. Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and the cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure said: “I accept this motion is well intended, but I believe it is flawed.
“We already have an excellent highways forum in place which deals not just with transportation and highways, but individual issues.”
He also said phase one of the county’s Local Transport Plan, which the Government awarded £14.2 million of funding earlier this year, has already been decided.
It includes revamping the A38 Ketch roundabout, improvements to Foregate Street Railway Station and providing extra cycle lanes.