South Gloucestershire Labour Councillors
A local councillor who has consistently campaigned against the Tories’ closure of a road on his patch says he is suspicious about the local MP’s claims to want it reopened.
Highwood Road in Patchway was closed to most traffic back in 2012 in order to become a bus priority route. This decision was very unpopular with local residents, and the ward’s Labour councillors led the opposition to the proposal within the Council, proposing first in July 2012 and secondly in October 2013 to reverse the closure. The 2013 meeting was attended by 700 angry members of the public. Conservative councillors voted to enforce the closure on both occasions.
Five years on, locals are continuing their attempt to reverse the closure with an online petition, and local Conservative MP Jack Lopresti has written to the Council saying that he fully supports the petition.
Councillor Keith Walker, who has opposed the road closure since its inception in 2012 because of its impact on residential streets in the neighbourhood, has criticised the Tories for thinking that Patchway people have such short memories.
Councillor Keith Walker says:
“Many people in Patchway will recall when Highwood Road was closed to most traffic, and how their local Labour councillors campaigned and worked with residents to create a 4,500 name petition against it. Those who attended the Council meetings will know that the Conservatives voted to enforce the closure and that the Tories bear most responsibility for the situation.
Our predictions about the consequences of that closure, with increased numbers of vehicles using Coniston Road and the damage to residential road surfaces, have proved completely accurate.
Residents have remained unhappy with the decision and now that there is an online petition campaign, our Tory MP has jumped on the bandwagon and now claims to support them. This conversion is cynically timed six months before the council elections. Unfortunately for Patchway residents who might take comfort from it, there is absolutely no indication that Council Tories have any intention of changing their minds.
Patchway people have long memories and will not so easily forget who voted which way when the decision on Highwood Road was made.”
21st November 2018