Newbridge Park & Ride expansion botched by B&NES

Liberal Democrat-run Bath and North East Somerset Council has come under fire for incompetence after admitting that plans to expand Newbridge Park and Ride are to be delayed.

Work had been expected to start on expanding Park and Ride the site in by the start of 2013. However, the Council has pushed back the timetable to at least the autumn in order to gain new planning consent for the expansion.

The announcement has led to Conservative councillors accusing the authority of a ‘botched’ implementation of the Park and Ride scheme. Conservatives have also questioned how much the delay, coupled with the need for a new planning application, will cost the Council.

Conservative Transport Spokesman, Cllr Tim Warren, said:

“We are absolutely astonished that it has taken the Liberal Democrats so long before deciding to resubmit plans for the Newbridge Park and Ride extension.

“B&NES has had nearly two years to put in a new planning application for the expansion, yet now at the 11th hour, just as work was meant to start, they announce it has been delayed.

“So we are now left with a situation where the expansion is only half that it was meant to be, and delayed by nearly a year. B&NES also remains the only Council in the country which is paying for the brunt of the transport package itself, rather than through Government funding.

“The whole implementation of this expansion has clearly been completely and needlessly botched. The only question is how much this incompetence will cost tax-payers in delays to the project and the need for new planning consent. In the meantime, whilst the work is delayed the Park and Ride will continue to be at capacity.”