Cabstand bill for taxpayers?

PUBLISHED: 15:27 24 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:20 24 May 2010

TAXPAYERS could be forced to foot the bill to sort out Portishead's controversial Cabstand junction. North Somerset Council is currently conducting a feasibility study into the possibility of installing an extra lane from the Methodist Church in High Stre

TAXPAYERS could be forced to foot the bill to sort out Portishead's controversial Cabstand junction.North Somerset Council is currently conducting a feasibility study into the possibility of installing an extra lane from the Methodist Church in High Street to the lights to ease gridlock.The initial cost of the Cabstand junction was funded by developers as part of a 106 planning agreement and so far has cost over £800,000.But if the new lane gets the green light, money will have to be found out of North Somerset Council coffers.No exact costs have been put forward, but North Somerset Council executive member for strategic planning and transport John Crockford-Hawley described it as 'not a cheap option'.But he refused to be drawn on costs for any scheme saying it would 'not be sensible to do so at this time'.Councillor Crockford-Hawley said: "The council is the highways authority and it will be responsible for funding any changes to the Cabstand junction which it wants to make."Highways officers are currently investigating the possibility of installing a new lane and the costs involved with it, but it has to be said it is not going to be a cheap job."This is partly because of the positioning of underground services. "What we have to work out is whether the number of cars any new lane could accommodate would be worth the expense."Any remedial work that has to be done will be at the cost of the council and ultimately the local taxpayer."Highway engineers are expected to present the feasibility study to the authority within the next few weeks.The news that local people could be forced to pay for alterations to the Cabstand junction has angered Portishead councillors.Councillor Dave Pasley said: "It is absolutely outrageous that the people of Portishead may be expected to pay for changes to the Cabstand junction."It is not fair for the tax payers to pay for this fiasco when the decisions taken were not in their hands."I will certainly be asking for the full costs of any proposed schemes and be suggesting the consultants which suggested it in the first place contribute towards any costs.

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