Decisions should be made locally

First published in Your Say

THE article you ran last week from Councillor Hooke implied that the final decision on the wholly unnecessary proposal (WEYHILL ROAD CYCLEWAY) rests not with Test Valley Borough Council but a Hampshire county councillor called Sean Woodward.

Cllr Woodward lives not in Andover – he lives in and represents a ward in Fareham.

He is leader of Fareham Borough Council and also serves on Hampshire County Council.

So it seems that the final decision on a cycleway for Weyhill Road in Andover is to be made by a councillor who lives 30 miles from Andover.

So much for localism and the restoration of local peoples’ faith that local decisions should be made by local politicians in the interests of local people!

This reminds me of the decision made a few years ago to demolish Andover’s old bandstand on Vigo Road, which the Andover Advertiser and its former editor quite rightly had views on.

I may be incorrect but my recollection is that the final decision to demolish this iconic bandstand was similarly made by a councillor, who did not live in Andover.

There was a public outcry at the time about its demolition and when the deed was done there was anger over the lack of public consultation.

No doubt Cllr Woodward will base his decision on “facts” presented from Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council officials.

There is only one fact shared by the vast majority of residents who will be affected and businesses who believe their businesses will suffer and that is the cycleway is not needed and not wanted.

If it goes ahead it will amount to nothing short of environmental vandalism by destroying trees and grass verges, not to mention the relocation of telegraph posts and lampposts closer to front bedroom windows.

There are other daft cycleways dotted mindlessly around Andover.

They seem to start and finish in the middle of nowhere.

Are cyclists parachuted in at the start and then levitate themselves off at the end?

There is an even dafter cycleway on The Avenue, where the bollards are so close to the edge of the pavement that you need to be a size 6-8 to successfully negotiate them!

The Avenue is on a major bus route and is also the major road used by motorists to get to and from the railway station.

If the final decision has yet to be made by Cllr Woodward why have many white hieroglyphs already appeared along the route?

I have emailed Cllr Woodward asking for an onsite meeting but apart from an acknowledgement, as this letter is submitted, I still await a considered response.

Alan Turner, Weyhill Road, Andover

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