Bid to change name of Plymouth's longest road ends in failure
A CONTROVERSIAL campaign aimed at changing the name of Plymouth's longest road has failed.
Resident Rob Fenton divided opinion among his neighbours by asking the council to rename a historic stretch of Wolseley Road.
Mr Fenton, who lives at its northern end, distributed letters calling for people to back his proposals to give the section between Saltash Passage and St Budeaux a new name, reflecting its history as the former home of the Plymouth-Torpoint ferry link.
The council sent letters to 212 households – each of which would be asked to stump up £50 to pay for the change – asking their views.
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But the local authority has now closed consultation early after residents gave the idea a resounding "no" vote.
A Plymouth City Council spokesman said of 125 responses sent back so far, only 23 backed a name change.
A public meeting due to take place last night was cancelled, and disappointed Mr Fenton has admitted defeat.
"It's a shame because people were starting to change their minds," he said.
"I thought this could be the foundation to really building up change in the area.
"Unfortunately, it turned into a 'them and us' situation."
Wolseley Road stretches all the way from Milehouse, a few hundred metres from the city centre, through North Prospect, Camels Head and St Budeaux, to the very north west of Plymouth.
The final section, which appears separate thanks to tweaks to the road layout, has long been known locally as Saltash Passage, and snakes all the way to the shadow of the Tamar Bridge.
Mr Fenton said he believed a name change would enhance that part's reputation and attract more visitors.
But he said many people had rejected the idea before hearing his side of the argument.
"I'm very disappointed," Mr Fenton added. "I truly believe it would have been a good thing for the area."
The council's Cabinet member for finance, Councillor Mark Lowry, said: "The council's new administration does not believe this exercise was a good use of the council's resources. We will be reviewing the way the council carries out street naming and numbering and ensuring councillors elected to represent their local communities are fully involved in future."