City centre drivers in Preston were today given double cause for celebration after a second controversial bus lane project was halted.
Just days after County Hall revealed the disputed no-go zone in Fishergate was about to lifted, the man in charge of highways announced councillors are to have another look at the plan to ban traffic on part of Tithebarn Street.
Coun John Fillis responded to concerns raised by a fellow LCC member over a proposed bus/taxi lane alongside the bus station by agreeing to call a halt until further talks have been held with city councillors.
“As far as I’m concerned, if there are concerns by local councillors I will stop it until we discuss it further,” he said. “Let’s have a meeting and talk about it. I’m more than happy to do that.”
Coun Yousuf Motala, who represents the Preston City area on Lancashire County Council, approached Coun Fillis after reading about the Tithebarn Street plan last week in the Post.
“That was the first I’d heard about it,” he said. “It’s in my division and yet I didn’t know about it. Even the leaders of Preston City Council hadn’t been consulted. So I asked what was going on.
“Since then so many people have registered concerns about the scheme. We’ve had so many complaints about the Fishergate bus lanes and now this.
“I would have liked to see more consultation because there are clearly a lot of issues here. Coun Fillis was in full agreement and said he would ask officers to stop work on it and hold back until we’ve held more discussions. I’m grateful to him for that and I look forward to a meeting soon.”
The Tithebarn Street project, which is part of the scheme to reconfigure bus traffic around the new-look bus station, is expected to cost around £400,000, money which will come from the Department of Transport.
Coun Motala added: “I’m really happy Coun Fillis has taken this on board and put it on hold. We need to talk about this in more detail. After what has happened in Fishergate we don’t want to drive shoppers out of the city centre.”
Coun Fillis said: “We are trying to get on with the job and get the area sorted out. It’s important for a growing city.
“It became clear that our consultation hadn’t been the greatest. Coun Motala said something wasn’t right and he didn’t think they had had enough chance to have a look at this.
“So I have said ‘fine, we’ll hold back until we can have a meeting. If people aren’t happy then let’s meet as quickly as possible.”