North Yorkshire ‘kept in the dark’ over new Colne bypass

Craven Herald: County Councillor Patrick Mulligan County Councillor Patrick Mulligan

A new War of the Roses has been sparked over Lancashire County Council’s proposals to drive a new road to the edge of Yorkshire.

According to county patriots on North Yorkshire’s Craven area committee, their cousins across the border have used skullduggery to ensure the project is successful.

Lancashire’s plan to build a road to bypass Colne, which ends north of Foulridge, was done by “treating us like mushrooms and keeping us in the dark,” said committee chairman Coun David Ireton. “It is very disappointing that we have not been kept informed about the progress of the proposal despite having a representative of Lancashire at our last meeting.”

In October, a representative from Lancashire CC was invited to give details on the scope and progress of the East Lancashire Highways and Transpor-tation Masterplan, but councillors claim they were not informed of the latest stage in the plan which involved adopting a route for the bypass, which starts at a new roundabout on the M65 and runs to a new junction with the A56 at Foulridge.

Coun Patrick Mulligan (Cons) told the December meeting of the area committee: “We were told nothing about the masterplan even though they clearly knew what was happening. Relieving traffic in Colne will cause difficulties in Thornton-in-Craven. We need to be involved in the consultation.”

A joint approach to the proposals was essential and the Government should recognise the special circumstances and find the funding, said Coun Robert Heseltine (Ind).

“Whatever options Lancashire County Council adopts for the A56 bypass of Colne to Foulridge, we don’t want that volume of traffic landing up at Thornton-in-Craven and, figuratively speaking, falling off the end of the world into North Yorkshire,” he said.

A suggestion by Coun Philip Barrett (Ind) that a small group of councillors and an officer should be set up to focus on the plans and to work for the benefit of Craven was accepted.

And councillors agreed that Lancashire CC should be asked to work with North Yorkshire to assess the impact on communities in North Yorkshire.

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