Councillors should be accountable for chaos
I READ with interest the comments of Cllr Kevin Wigens in The Herald last week claiming the Labour Party needS to "get a grip of the improvement works on Laira Bridge".
Of course he is correct, but how dare he make such a criticism when he was the man who directed the carnage of delays and driver frustration when the Gdynia Way roadworks were under way.
I find it staggering that these local politicians claim to be representing the community yet they clearly have no influence or control. Instead civil servants, or officers as they are known within the council, are running the city at their pace and their direction. Since work first started on Laira Bridge I have never seen more than four workers on site.
If our elected councillors do have influence then why have they allowed the workforce to start just as the morning peak traffic starts to flow into the city causing massive delays to all professions from teachers to dockyard workers, businessmen and children heading out of the city for schools in Plymstock.
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Would it have been more sensible to load the project with manpower and work around the clock to make sure that instead of eight weeks the disruption was reduced to four. There are no houses near the bridge so no concern about noise at night. At the same time why are both lanes closed when it is clear that the only obstruction to traffic is highways vans parked on the bridge. Just for the rush hour. It would be easier to open two lanes into the city at peak times with one lane closure being Plymstock bound.
It would appear that our councillors don't give a hoot about those who elect them and pay their salaries. But I suppose in Plymstock it would be difficult for any of them to appreciate the problems. Cllr Pengelly lives in Hartley, Cllr Wigens lives in Yelverton and Cllr Churchill lives in Tavistock.
I understand from The Herald that Cllr Mark Coker is the man directing operations at Laira Bridge. He is of course the same man who headed the special meeting to decide how to deal with skateboarders outside the Civic Centre. Despite several signs saying skateboarding was banned and advising that fines would be issued, he spent meeting after meeting to decide that nothing could be done. The sooner we get an elected Mayor in Plymouth the better.
I telephoned Plymouth City Council to make my suggestions in respect of improving the flow of traffic and was told that councillors were unable to make changes as the plan had been approved. My only course of action now is at the next local election and I will make my concerns clear at the ballot box.