Patchway’s Labour councillors have warmly welcomed a decision to delay a vote on whether to confirm the unpopular closure of Highwood Road, after hundreds of residents turned up at the South Gloucestershire Council committee meeting due to decide.
South Gloucestershire’s Planning and Transport Committee was to decide whether to confirm or abandon the year-long trial closure of Highwood Road in Patchway this afternoon. Local residents have strongly opposed the closure, with nine out of ten respondents to the Council’s own consultation supporting reopening the road. There has also been a 4,000 signature petition, large public meetings and previous heartfelt pleas to South Gloucestershire Council.
However, the number of Patchway residents that turned up to voice their opposition to the closure was too big to fit into the meeting room at Thornbury’s council offices, so councillors agreed to a recommendation by Councillor Roger Hutchinson (Labour, Filton) to refer the decision to a future meeting of the Full Council of all 70 councillors to be arranged at a venue large enough to accommodate the likely public audience.
Speaking after the decision, Councillor Keith Walker (Labour, Patchway) said:
“I warmly welcome the decision not to proceed this afternoon. The huge number of people that took the time and trouble to travel to Thornbury has left councillors in no doubt of the level and strength of public feeling on this issue.
It would have been quite wrong for councillors to have pressed on with a decision with so many members of the public shut outside.
We have an assurance that the meeting that will make the final decision will be held as close to Patchway as possible, and at a time of day that is convenient for the public to attend. I urge local people to continue their campaign and explain to the Council the impact that this road closure is having on their lives and on the community of Patchway.”
4th September 2013