3:00pm Sunday 1st June 2014
HAMPSHIRE County Council has refused to reveal the cost to the community of its controversial shared-use pedestrian/cycle route planned for Weyhill Road in Andover.
A request to the council, made by Andover resident Alan Turner under the provision of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, has been turned down.
The decision has been taken just before Cabinet member for highways, Sean Woodward, is due to visit the area – and then decide on the proposal on 10 June.
Mr Turner, who lives close to the route, said: “As I read it, the costing info is being withheld until the last minute, and even when it is, I wonder whether we will find out the total cost.
“The source of the monies I think is probably unimportant, be it Section 106 or from the Department of Transport's Local Sustainability Transport Fund.
“All I want to ascertain is the total cost so that it can be widely circulated. But I thought you’d all like to be aware.”
Councillor Woodward, who represents Fareham, is expected to visit the area at noon on Monday, 2 June.
The notification that the council has refused to volunteer the cost came on Tuesday in an email to Mr Turner from senior transport planner John Sorrell, who is based in Winchester at HCC’s headquarters.
He said: “The estimated cost to deliver the proposed Weyhill Road cycleway scheme is being withheld under regulation 12(4)(d) EIR because it is related to material which is still in the course of completion or to unfinished documents.
“It is intended that the project appraisal will be published on or around 2 June on Hantsweb prior to the executive member for economy, transport and environment meeting on 10 June 2014.”
Unlike in the past when committees of councillors decided such matters, councils today have Cabinets and decisions are taken by portfolio holders who often live many miles away – in this case Cllr Woodward.
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