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Spelthorne withdraw objection to Moor Lane Rail Crossing. Very suddenly.

February 22, 2021 10:30 AM

Spelthorne Liberal Democrats Tory U-turn on Moore Lane Crossing in Ashford ()Cllr McIlroy (Conservative) has broken his promises

Spelthorne Liberal Democrats were dumbfounded on hearing the news that, rather abruptly on Friday afternoon last, Spelthorne Council at the Public Enquiry, decided to withdraw its objection to Network Rail's proposal, to close the Moor Lane Railway crossing on a permanent basis. This decision came as the Enquiry was entering its closing stages having commenced back on 19 January some eleven days previously.

Councillor Chris Bateson who represents a Staines Ward stated he, like other Councillors and interested parties, had always understood the Council's position was one of long-standing opposition to its closure. So much so that the Council had been prepared to give evidence at the Enquiry and had likely spent significant monetary resource on legal guidance and representation. He added that this decision had taken many by surprise and undoubtedly questions would now be asked as to why the about-turn so late in the day at what financial cost. In the interests of clarity, answers to these questions were now being sought.

A swift decision, signed off by senior council officers and Councillor McIlroy, deputy leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, reversed the council's position. This had left many residents disappointed. No other Councillors were consulted and only notified after the decision was made. Spelthorne Liberal Democrats will demand answers as to what transpired in the evidence provided, how much we have spent pursuing a position that we reneged on and ultimately what Spelthorne do when a final decision has been reached.

At the council meeting on Thursday 25 February, Cllr Bateson will be asking a question about this decision.

The original press release from the Council can be found here - https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/article/19971/Spelthorne-Council-objecting-to-rail-crossing-closure-at-Moor-Lane

The response from the Council after the U-Turn can be found here - https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/article/20003/Moor-Lane-railway-crossing

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