DCSIMG

Residents are denied rat-run review by panel

Coun David Howarth and Coun Tony Pimblett on Rawstorne Road in Penwortham which has been giving funding to make part of the road one way

Coun David Howarth and Coun Tony Pimblett on Rawstorne Road in Penwortham which has been giving funding to make part of the road one way

Residents said they are “stunned” by a decision to make an experimental road scheme permanent, despite an offer to review the case.

After a year-long trial, Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, decided to make Rawsthorne Road in Penwortham one-way from it’s junction with Mornington Road, in a bid to stop it being used as a rat run.

But after the verdict was called into question at a scrutiny meeting on Tuesday, he offered to review the issue and meet with residents to discuss concerns.

The offer came after resident Peter Snook, representing 114 others, told the meeting that Councillors David Howarth and Tony Pimblett, who originally asked for the trial, had not consulted with the majority of homeowners, there was no history of traffic accidents in the area, and that over the course of a year, an average household in the area was delayed by 49 hours because of the changes.

He said: “There’s a feeling of anger and disgust that public money has been spent on a trial that benefits only a few homes and is detrimental to the majority.”

Coun Howarth replied that he had never been part of the decision-making process and insisted that he and Coun Pimblett had carried out a legitimate survery, prior to a public consulation.

The committee, which Coun Howarth does not sit on, voted to approve Coun Fillis’s original decision, dismissing his offer to re-investigate.

Chair Alyson Barnes, who had the casting vote, said: “I think we could have objections the other way if there is a change of heart on this.”

Afterwards, Mr Snook said: “I cannot believe what I’ve just heard. Democracy doesn’t seem to work.”

Coun Michael Green, who called the decision in for scrutiny, said: “Never in all my time in politics have I seen anything like that.

“The decision maker himself is prepared to go back and have a look at the evidence, but the committee have voted against it.

“The people have been denied the chance and it’s very frustrating for them. I think it’s appalling.

“There is a possibility that residents can now take the decision to the ombudsman or to a judicial review.”

 

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