New river bridge 'would create more congestion'

Worcester Bridge: county's Labour group does not want another

Worcester Bridge: county's Labour group does not want another

First published in News
Last updated
Worcester News: Tom Edwards Exclusive by , Political Reporter

WORCESTERSHIRE'S Labour group says it is "totally against" building a new Worcester river bridge - saying it will only bring more chaos and congestion to the city centre.

The view directly contradicts the stance of the Labour leader of Worcester City Council, who only last month wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to find the money for it.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, the city's leader, said last month how if money "really is no object" Mr Cameron should help get a second central river crossing in place.

But Worcestershire County Council is responsible for transport - and today it can be revealed how his own party colleagues disagree with that view.

Councillor Richard Udall, chairman of the county's Labour group, said: "We firmly oppose such a suggestion - it would drag more congestion into Worcester and could make the situation worse.

"We need to reduce the number of through vehicles from entering the city centre, which would improve capacity and open the city up for trade."

He also told your Worcester News he "supports the alternative proposal" of the county's Conservative leadership, which is intent on funding a new flooding alleviation scheme for New Road to protect it.

Last month the main Worcester Bridge had to close during the floods, mainly because of water coming up over New Road.

Councillor Alan Amos, also from the county's Labour group, said: "The traffic situation in Worcester is dire.

"We want to get the traffic out of Worcester city centre but having a second river bridge won't do that."

He says Labour policy at county-level was based around lobbying for a North West Link Road to take more cars around Worcester than through it.

Cllr Gregson says his main concern during the closure was the impact it had upon independent traders and other businesses in the city.

He says had Mr Cameron visited Worcester last month, he would have "been able to show him the misery our businesses face" when the only city river bridge shuts.

He has called upon the premier to "dig deep to find the cash" for a second crossing "within the city boundary".

Yesterday, he said: "I think we're all in agreement there needs to be a second city bridge, but there's no fast and hard decision on where it will be.

"The first thing we would need to do is look at options. It could be further out."

Last week the Conservative leadership at the county council said it would not support a second city bridge, and is prepared to focus future transport investments elsewhere.

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