Bath park-and-ride grapevine news 'unacceptable'

A Wiltshire councillor has said it is "unacceptable" that the authority heard about plans for a new park-and-ride for east Bath on the grapevine.

A former landfill site and a railway yard near Bath in Wiltshire are being considered by Bath and North East Somerset Council (Banes).

Wiltshire councillor Dick Tonge said it was "discourteous" that the council had heard about it from the BBC.

Banes leader Paul Crossley apologised and said the news had leaked.

'Other problems'

The former landfill site and railway yard are near the A4 between Box and Bath.

Mr Tonge, Conservative-run Wiltshire Council's cabinet member for transport, said: "It's extremely discourteous when this happens, that we hear on the grapevine...

"Clearly there's been a bit of a cock-up and I hope it doesn't happen again.

"We have had other problems, the proposed closure of the Cleveland Bridge - the Banes officers have refused to give information to our officers in Wiltshire and we've had to put a Freedom of Information request in.

"This isn't really the way we ought to be operating as two authorities."

Mr Crossley said the information had leaked before officers from the Liberal Democrat-run Banes had contacted Wiltshire Council.

'Solve problems'

He said he had instructed Banes officers that he wanted a better working relationship with Wiltshire.

"I have already made arrangements to meet the leader and the chief executive at the LGA (Local Government Association) conference," he said.

"It's just unfortunate that this got our before we had a meeting with Dick Tonge and Roger Symonds [Banes cabinet member for transport]."

Mr Crossley said the authority wanted to avoid using the previous option at Bathampton Meadows.

Another site just over the Avon border has not been ruled out.

Campaigners have been fighting against plans to build on the meadow claiming the loss of green space would be "unforgivable".

Alison Millar, from the Save Bathampton Meads campaign group, said she was "delighted" that other options were being considered and said Bathampton Meadows was not suitable for a park-and-ride.

"It isn't going to solve the problems of traffic on Bath's roads," she said.

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