Shock as proposed Birches Lane crossing refused

A proposed puffin crossing in Birches Lane to help calm speeding traffic has been refused after it was deemed to be a poor use of public money.

Thursday, 30th June 2016, 12:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2016, 1:11 pm
Where the crossing would have been on Birches Lane. Copyright: Google Street View

Despite having the backing of county councillors Alan Cockburn and Dave Shilton, the crossing, which would have been near Thickthorn Close, was rejected by portfolio holder Cllr Peter Butlin.

The crossing only met 12 per cent of the standard cost-to-benefit ratio required for it to receive external funding, something which surprised Cllrs Cockburn and Shilton.

But although both would have used their designated community schemes budgets to fund the crossing’s £65,000 costs, Cllr Butlin decided it would not offer value for money.

Cllr Shilton said: “We were shocked. If we had realised that we wouldn’t have wasted the officers’ time in applying for it.

“The people who wanted the crossing will be very disappointed. I just hope no one gets injured or even killed in the meantime.”

Not everyone was in favour of the crossing. A group of Birches Lane residents said: “We do not agree either to the location of the proposal or indeed the need for the crossing itself.”

Birches Lane is often used as a shortcut to Dalehouse Lane to get out of Kenilworth to the northeast.

It is crossed by schoolchildren from Thorns Infant School as well as Kenilworth School pupils. Alternative traffic-controlling proposals are now being considered.