Fears mounting over loss of funds for Up Hatherley
FEARS are mounting that funds intended to improve traffic chaos in Up Hatherley could be lost.
Highways bosses secured £600,000 when the new Asda store was launched, but a lack of community support for the proposed road scheme saw it shelved.
Now Gloucestershire county councillor Simon Wheeler, who represents the area, wants to see some proposals for the area taken forward to ensure the cash is not spent on large schemes outside the village.
He wants to see chicanes introduced in Hatherley Lane and the roundabout at Grace Gardens and Unwin Road to be made larger. He hopes both measures will slow traffic down.
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The Liberal Democrat said: "There are suggestions that the money could be used elsewhere. It does worry me that the area could lose out and the money go towards prime projects like the new bus land on the A40. I am in favour of that project happening, but I an quite adament that I don't want it to be at the expense of smaller projects that could really help the people of Up Hatherley.
"There is a fear in the community that these projects are being shelved in favour of major work and in five years' time, the people in Up Hatherley will be told there is no money left."
Cheltenham borough councillor Roger Whyborn (LD, Up Hatherley) is also in favour of action. He is pushing for traffic calming measures in Hatherley Lane, between the B&Q roundabout and the Hatherley Road mini-roundabout. He previously said the lives of some residents in Hatherley Lane were being made a complete misery because of traffic day and night.
But Gloucestershire Highways has ruled out any work in the area until the completion of housing estates.
Highways manager Chris Riley said: "We went through an extensive consultation with people last year and the result was a very mixed response. There is not a significant accident record at the site so it wouldn't be correct for us to proceed with a scheme that is not supported by the majority of the community.
"We will continue to work with councillors and the parish council to monitor the situation and to consider changes suggested by residents. However, consultation exercises are costly and use up the funding available for works, so we need to be sure there has been a significant enough change to warrant a fresh consultation."