A COUNCILLOR today hit back at claims he changed his mind in the 11th hour over plans to move a bus stop.
Residents of St David’s Road North in St Annes are campaigning to reverse a decision to move a bus stop 50 yards along the road.
As reported in The Gazette, neighbours say there is no need for the move, as only six people use the stop – for the number 17 bus – each day.
Coun Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, accused St Annes county councillor, Coun Howard Henshaw of waiting until the “11th hour” to tell him he was not happy with the plan he had originally agreed to.
But Coun Henshaw said it was thanks to a County Hall oversight he was not made aware of the full plans while residents on St David’s Road North were being consulted in January last year.
He said: “I was told 12 months ago the council was upgrading some of the bus stops, and I was quite pleased with that, obviously.
“But I was not told this particular stop was being relocated, and moved 50 yards down the road.”
Coun Henshaw said he only found out about plans to move the bus stop at the end of last year, as residents were mounting a objection.
He said he was not even told about a 50-strong petition handed in by residents of St David’s Road North against the proposals, which was consequently lost by the council.
In an email to Coun Henshaw, the county council’s roads engineer Ian Welsby says: “With regards to the consultation letters sent to all affected residents along the route, I must apologise as it appears you were not copied into this correspondence which was sent out directly from our local office.
“I can assure you this is not our normal policy and this incident has been noted and will be rectified in any future consultation exercise.”
Mr Welsby admits a petition “seems to have been lost” during the consultation.
He adds the points of a second petition from last December were considered and responded to.
Coun Henshaw said: “Coun Ashton’s comments that I was involved in the consultation were incorrect.
“As the county councillor for St Annes North, officers should have informed me of the weight of objectors to the relocation of the bus stop.
“This whole thing has been very badly handled.”
Click here to read how The Gazette first reported the story: