Stratford is being completely let down by the County Council over transport according to the deputy leader of Stratford District Council, in a barbed attack last week.
The Stratford Transport Strategy was adopted by both county and district councils two years ago, but slamming the county council last week, Cllr Daren Pemberton explained that apart from a small number of projects led by the district council, there had been little or no progress.
Cllr Pemberton pointed the finger of blame squarely at the door of the county council, the lead authority for transport.
Speaking at last week’s Overview and Scrutiny meeting, Cllr Pemberton said: “The residents of this town are being let down, the progress of this strategy has been unacceptable and that is in no way a reflection of the work of officers at the district council. I would plea with this committee to ask county council officers to appear and to explain themselves.
“I am tired of this council taking the hit from other members and from the press for these delays, if this sounds like I am throwing the county council under the bus, that is because I am. As an authority we should not have to find out about delays to the Birmingham Road improvements through the Herald, that’s unacceptable. This is not the fault of Stratford District Council and we have impressed upon the county council the need for progress, it’s our hope that we will see a sea change at the county council.”
Cllr Pemberton said the county council’s move to sell off part of the car park at Stratford Park Ride did not seem to fit at all with the ambition of increasing use of the facility and called for an integrated approach to on-street and off-street parking.
He said that in certain areas, such as in making improvements to Henley Street, there had been good progress, but it was Stratford District Council and SBT supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP that had brought this around.
During the meeting other members accused the county council of failing to keep to timescales for improvement works, often offering no justification or excuses.
Cllr Peter Richards, who chaired the meeting, added: “Clearly something is not working because we’re seeing no progress. Traffic in the town is getting worse and worse.”
Responding to the criticisms, a Warwickshire County Council spokesperson said: “The County Council is working closely with the District Council to bring forward the measures identified within the joint Stratford-upon-Avon Area Transport Strategy.
“Good progress is being made with a range of initiatives which will bring positive improvements to the transport network in the town. There is further work to do which we will bring additional benefits in the coming years.”