Welcome to the path to nowhere!

By James HoreA ROW has erupted over a cyclepath that literally "goes nowhere", coming to an abrupt halt at a metal fence. County councillor, Julie Young, was hoping to see a new crossing point for bikes and wheelchairs on the Wivenhoe trail where it meets a railway line.

By James Hore

A ROW has erupted over a cyclepath that literally "goes nowhere", coming to an abrupt halt at a metal fence.

County councillor, Julie Young, was hoping to see a new crossing point for bikes and wheelchairs on the Wivenhoe trail where it meets a railway line.

But Mrs Young, who represents Wivenhoe St Andrews, was shocked to find funds earmarked for the trail had been switched to a cyclepath in the Colchester parish of Myland and the work had already taken place.

However, the episode took a strange turn after cyclists were left baffled by the new Myland path – as it comes to a sudden halt at a metal fence.

The decision to switch the funds was taken by Rodney Bass, the county council cabinet member for transport, but has now been "called in" by the Labour group at County Hall, meaning it will come under scrutiny.

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The details of the decision to call the matter in state: "The local member for Wivenhoe has not been consulted whatsoever on this proposal, whereas the county member to whom the money is being recycled appears to have been so consulted.

"This does not appear to be in compliance with county council procedures nor in any way ethically defendable."

Mrs Young said: "I am not happy that funds earmarked for the Wivenhoe Trail, which is a well-established cycleway in urgent need of investment, have been diverted to fund a new cycleway in Myland that goes nowhere.

"I feel democracy has been overridden as the path was constructed before it had been authorised by the cabinet member and published, there has been no opportunity for scrutiny which goes against the constitution of the county council."

Mr Bass was unavailable for comment and no-one from the council was able to comment on the matter, which will be discussed by its executive audit and scrutiny committee today.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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