Following the news that Labour plan to redesign the seafront cycle lanes, Greens raise concerns that reversing progress loses the city time, money and progress
On Friday 16th, the Labour-run administration called an emergency meeting of the Transport Committee, to be held on Wednesday 21st at 1pm. The agenda and reports for this meeting, and even the topic of discussion, were not revealed until 24 hours before the meeting. Labour briefed the press before they gave information to fellow councillors.
When the report was eventually made public, it came with the news that Labour were proposing to redesign the A259 Active Travel scheme. Despite the scheme having been debated and supported in council committees multiple times, consulted on with the public, fully funded and ready to launch, Labour have today voted to halt the plans and scrap the progress made.
Greens have joined with residents to heavily criticise the move. They have highlighted that Labour’s plans are already costing the city £20k a week for delayed contractor costs, which would be avoided if Labour simply got the scheme started. It will also cost at least £70k for redesign work and potentially hundreds of thousands in rework, contract termination and funding retraction costs. Greens argue that not only is this financially irresponsible, but it has not been something anyone has asked for. It was also not featured in Labour’s 2023 manifesto.
Despite objections across the chamber and the city over the last 24 hours, Labour voted to halt delivering the scheme in favour of redesigning it and finding new funding. Greens are working with concerned residents to explore next steps.
Green Transport Spokesperson Steve Davis [he/him] said:
“The active travel scheme that was proposed by the Greens and supported by Labour previously had been costed, funded, debated and supported multiple times in council committees, supported across the city and primed to begin any day. By contrast, Labour’s proposal is uncosted, unconsulted and undemocratic.”
“Labour’s first decision about transport in this administration has already costed the city thousands in contractor delay costs and, judging by the rough estimates offered to the committee, will cost the city hundreds of thousands more.
“There is not just a financial cost, but a cost of time. The planet is on fire now, and we need infrastructure that addresses that urgently. Instead, and shockingly, Labour have actively paid contractors to delay progress.”
“What’s more, the costly decision to cancel the scheme has not been consulted on with the city’s residents, and it was not in their 2023 manifesto. Labour promised they would listen to the city, but just weeks into their administration they’ve already thrown that aside.”