Friday, 18 November 2011

£375,000 of developers' cash to promote Guided Bus - "scandalous"

Angry Liberal Democrats have attacked Tory plans to spend £375,000 of developer’s cash on promoting the Guided Bus while ignoring pedestrian safety and cycling improvements.

They say the promotional campaign for a service that is out of reach for many residents is “scandalous”.

The move came in draft proposals for how to spend developer’s contributions received by Cambridgeshire County Council for the Cambridge University North West site development.

The Tory-controlled Cabinet gave its backing to the proposals which included just £5,000 to improve the junction at the city’s Northampton Street and nothing to improve pedestrian safety at Lady Margaret Road. 

Councillor Belinda Brooks-Gordon, in whose Castle ward the development falls, and Councillor Lucy Nethsingha, member for Newnham, told Cabinet members today (Tuesday, November 15) that they need to rethink their plans.

Cllr Brooks-Gordon said: "Spending over a third of a million pounds on a promotional campaign for the Guided Bus would scandalise residents."

"It would be an insult to spend this money promoting a service out of reach of many residents when there are safety improvements badly needed in the city.”

Councillor Nethsingha said: “This development needs to be very heavily focused on cycling as the main transport option; yet there is nothing suggested under these proposals for improvements to cycle access across Magdelene Street, Silver Street or other points for crossing the river.”

Concerns were also expressed during the meeting that highway designs for the new development, which will include thousands of new homes, businesses and community facilities, will encourage high vehicle speeds.