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Council leader's pique over Cogges Link Road
10:00am Wednesday 10th October 2012 in Letters
Sir – When county council leader Ian Hudspeth describes himself as being as “frustrated” as the rest of us about the relief road situation in Witney (Gazette, September 26, he is clearly implying that it isn’t his fault (and it’s all the fault of the Cogges Link Road objectors).
Allow me to set the record straight about Mr Hudspeth and his involvement in CLR. For as long as I can remember, he has been the main sponsor of the CLR scheme.
In the face of widespread reasoned and articulate opposition, he closed his mind to all arguments against CLR and in favour of the alternative Shores Green proposal.
When properly scrutinised at the inquiry last year, the link road was found to be inferior to Shores Green in all respects (environmental, flood risk, financial, congestion relief and several others) except one (air quality).
The inspector found that Shores Green was almost twice as efficient on congestion/cost. In other words the objectors were proved right – and it wasn’t even close.
In the process the council wasted years and, apparently, £4m of our money.
The inquiry found the Shores Green proposal to be perfectly viable and the council stated that they would push on with it if the inquiry did not find in their favour.
So, why the delay now? This has the whiff of a man acting in a fit of pique, because the people of Witney had the temerity to challenge his pet project.
Instead of an apology and an acknowledgement that “I got it wrong”, we are faced with years of council procrastination and cuts to our services, because of the money that has been wasted.
Mr Hudspeth should resign.
Tim Walker, The Leys, Witney