Council ‘not satisfied’ with £25,000 traffic survey

LYME Regis Town Council has expressed “bitter disappointment” at a much-anticipated traffic survey, which cost £25,000.

The council commissioned Hydrock engineers to carry out the comprehensive survey looking at all the town’s traffic problems and any potential solutions, in light of increased congestion and parking issues during busy periods.

Members were expecting to receive the report before Christmas but had still not seen it at last week’s Strategy & Finance Committee meeting, although it had arrived at the council offices.

Councillor Brian Larcombe questioned why the report had taken so long and asked town clerk John Wright why members had not been allowed to read it as soon as it arrived.

Mr Wright said that he and deputy town clerk Mark Green were planning to look through it that week before sending it out to members, so they were prepared to answer any questions.

Councillor Larcombe added: “We have waited and waited for months. I am concerned about the way we’ve engaged with the people that have done it because our expectation was that it would be done a lot quicker than this.”

Mr Wright said that the deputy town clerk had been chasing up Hydrock regularly and he was “not entirely satisfied with the length of time it’s taken”.

The town clerk added that he was also not satisfied that the report – which Hydrock had described as the “final draft” – did not include any public consultation which was one of the key requirements.

“We are pushing Hydrock to ensure they meet their consultation obligations,” he added.

Councillor Larcombe expressed concern that the company had not met the requirements set by the council, adding that public consultation was a “fairly fundamental” element, and he questioned whether they should be paid.

Councillor Jeff Scowen added: “The public consultation days proposed by Hydrock have not been met. That was a really big thing for us, that the public be consulted. Does this mean we’re now getting a report without that? Won’t that make it less effective?

“I think it’s appalling how long we’ve waited and they haven’t even put a key thing in. Did we not promise that?”

Mr Wright replied: “We absolutely promised public consultation. We have got what they are calling the ‘final draft’ and I’m dead keen that before it becomes the actual report, that public consultation takes place.

“It was a key requirement and we made a commitment to undertake consultation.”

Councillor Larcombe commented: “If this is the final draft I find it incomprehensible that they can produce a report like that when there is a commitment to consult.”

Mr Wright said he was “bitterly disappointed” and agreed to bring his own report to the next committee meeting, outlining the council’s current position, the outlined requirements and the terms of engagement with Hydrock so members could decide how to move forward.

Hydrock have been contacted for a comment.

Woodmead Halls

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