Scarborough councillors have hit out at their colleagues at County Hall after they were asked to help fund a number of critical roadworks in the town.
Members of the borough council’s cabinet queried why they were being asked to cough up to support a £3.5m business plan to ease future congestion at four sites in Scarborough as road fall under the remit of North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways department.
The cabinet agreed to support paying a £150,000 sum in order to back a funding bid to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) but left the county in no doubt as to their feelings.
The areas that could benefit from the £3.875 million scheme, made up of £3.5 from the LEP and £150,000 from both the borough and county, are the junctions of Stepney Road and Stepney Drive, Scalby Road and Manor Road, Scalby Road and Stepney Drive, and Scalby Road and Falsgrave Road.
A borough council commissioned report warns that without action the roads could become gridlocked and leave motorists facing even bigger delays on the main arteries into and out of Scarborough.
New areas of housing identified in the borough’s Local Plan would add to this issues, it warned.
Borough cabinet member Cllr Mike Cockerill (independent) told today’s meeting at Scarborough Town Hall that he “remained to be convinced” why the authority should fund the business plan.
He said: “Whilst I can accept why it will be useful for the borough to secure funding from the LEP I consider that highways are clearly a county council matter.
“Indeed, the county council made this very clear when they removed the Highways Agency from the borough council just a few years ago.”
Cllr Cockerill added that while the two authorities had worked together to secure funding for projects in the past, including the multi-million-pound cliff stabilisation works above Scarborough Spa, there had been some less positive developments.
He added: “Negatively, the county has withdrawn contributions in relation to important local services, for example, CCTV and grass cutting.”
Scarborough Council director Richard Bradley, who wrote the report that went before the cabinet today (Tuesday) said if the borough did not fund the works it could stop new homes being built.
He said: “If we don’t do these infrastructure works the irony is that the county council could then object to planning applications that come in on the grounds that there isn’t sufficient capacity.”
Fellow cabinet members Cllr Sandra Turner (Con) and Cllr Bill Chatt both said they agreed with Cllr Cockerill, but were supporting the scheme as it would benefit people in the borough.
The leader of the council, Cllr Derek Bastiman (Con), also said he would support the scheme “reluctantly”.
He said: “It is a county issue, a highways issue, but at the end of the day I want to see the town and the borough prosper.
Scarborough’s full council will vote on whether to approve the cabinet’s decision in November.
A decision on whether the funding bid has been successful is expected in December.