Lib Dem Councillors have welcomed the announcement, from B&NES Council, that the East of Bath park and ride scheme on Bathampton Meadows has been dropped.
In a statement, the group said: “Having wasted £2.4m of tax payers’ money, the Tories have finally abandoned this divisive and unpopular project.”
Councillor Dine Romero (Southdown), Leader of the Lib Dem Group, commented: “This U-turn is another clear sign of a Conservative administration in complete disarray; split by the internal squabbles that led to almost half the Cabinet resigning last week.
Many people are now asking whether Bath and North East Somerset can really afford another two years of Tory floundering.”
Councillor Neil Butters (Bathavon South), Lib Dem spokes on Transport added: “It’s disgraceful that the Conservatives spent over two years trying to force this discredited and unworkable scheme down residents’ throats.
They have known for 18 months that Highways England did not support locating a park and ride on the Meadows and yet only now is ‘access’ cited as a reason for not proceeding.
“Whilst we’re all relieved that the Conservative administration has finally seen sense on the Meadows, we now need to thoroughly scrutinise their ‘new’ plan, which has presumably been cobbled together in the week since the Cabinet resignations.
“Residents will doubtless be concerned about the emphasis on parking and roads projects, including the controversial link road which would put yet more pressure on the already vulnerable A36; these speak of an addiction to oil and the private car, whereas there is little detail on improvements for cyclists and bus users. The Conservatives have no vision for Bath.”
Councillor Alison Millar, (Bathavon North) said: “This is absolutely the right decision. I’d like to pay tribute to the many campaigners from various groups who have been fighting against development of the Meadows, some of them for almost a decade.
“I just wish that the project had been withdrawn back in 2015/16, when it first came to light that it would not aid in the reduction of congestion or pollution. It would have saved a lot of public money and also a great deal of stress amongst residents in my ward.
“All this time and effort has been wasted, with residents in the East of the city no nearer a solution to the air pollution and congestion problems that affect their communities. We must now all focus our efforts on delivering those projects which will quickly be effective in easing Bath’s congestion and pollution woes.”
Councillor Dine Romero added: “When budgets are tight it is appalling that the Conservatives have wasted millions on a scheme that was not viable; and to make matters worse, they’ve shrouded the process in secrecy. The Lib Dems believe in open government that engages with residents.”
B&NES Council announced this morning that plans for the east of Bath Park & Ride would not be going ahead.