Political spat erupts over extra cash for road safety schemes

Gareth Wilson

Gareth Wilson - Credit: Archant

A proposal to set up a £40,000 fund to support road safety schemes in East Cambridgeshire was voted down by councillors.

Councillor James Palmer.

Councillor James Palmer. - Credit: Archant

Liberal Democrat councillors, who put forward the idea, said the money could be added into the council’s spending plans for 2015/16 and spent on safety projects, including crossings and traffic calming.

But their Conservative colleagues on the finance committee said a fund already existed to support road safety projects and the voted to reject the proposal.

Councillor Gareth Wilson, leader of the Lib Dem group, who proposed the funding, said: “In our market towns and villages there are lots of opportunities for a small amount of money to make a large difference to safety on our roads.

“It’s very disappointing that the Conservatives didn’t support this small but potentially life-saving investment.”

City of Ely councillor, Alison Whelan, who has been backing residents’ calls for a safe crossing in Lynn Road, Ely, said: “Local residents are keen to see much-needed safety measures on our roads.

“A small amount of money from the district council would have been very helpful for schemes in this and other places across the district. It’s regrettable that the Conservatives – who are throwing millions of pounds at their new leisure centre on the A10 – failed to back this move.”

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At the finance committee meeting, Councillor James Palmer, leader of the Conservative group, said he could not support the proposal as Cambridgeshire County Council “already had a fund” in place for supporting road safety projects, which many parish councils had made use of.