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Scrutiny committee urges council chief to reconsider bus link decision
A SCRUTINY committee has urged a council chief to reconsider her decision to select a residential road as the preferred route for a bus link.
Buckinghamshire County Council’s Environment, Transport and Locality Services Select Committee has asked Cllr Janet Blake to re-evaluate her decision to name Daws Lea as the best route for the link.
BCC’s Cabinet Member for Planning & Transportation announced in October that the no-through road was the number one option for the Daws Hill Area Travel Link to the Handy Cross Hub.
The project would cost about £2.3m – but that does not include land and property costs, as a family home would have to be demolished.
The scrutiny committee agreed with Cllr Lesley Clarke, who called in the decision, that there had been a lack of consultation with residents.
Members recommended that Cllr Blake should re-evaluate the cost of the proposed project and the impact it could have on residents.
They also suggested the Cabinet member should make her decision after taking into account an Equalities Impact Assessment, which was not available at the time the original ruling was made.
The committee has given Cllr Blake until the end of January to decide whether or not she would like to amend her original decision.
The ultimate decision rests with a Cabinet member - but they are requested to write to the committee and explain their decision if they decide to go against the recommendations put forward by members.
The other option put forward by BCC was to run a route behind Daws Lea parallel to the M40 which would cost an estimated £4.7m.
It forms part of BCC’s wider South Quadrant Transport Strategy.
But the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum has not only questioned the business case of the project but also its perceived benefits – stating buses already use Daws Hill Lane and Marlow Hill to Handy Cross at no cost.
DHNF chairman Stewart Armstrong said: "Surely these monies, whether from tax payers or funded by developers, could be spent more wisely.
"It seems totally disproportionate to direct such a level of funds at a few bus passengers each hour.”
Click here to read the Committee's ruling in full.
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