“Be wicked, act shamelessly, stir endlessly.”
(Effective Opposition. Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors)
Have you seen the petition regarding North Station congestion in Colchester?
I won’t supply a link to it – it’s not hard to find. But if you haven’t seen it, it asks you to support this statement.
Essex County Council, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford CM1 1QH
Immediate action must be taken to relieve congestion at the North Station Junction and Turner Rise Retail Park where severe congestion and grid lock is a daily occurrence.
If you’ve ever been stuck on the North Station roundabout at rush hour, it strikes a chord. Surely immediate action must be taken?
Sadly, there’s no point asking the creator of the petition, Castle Ward resident Dominic Graham. Interviewed by The Gazette, he said:
I’m not an expert in town planning, so it’s difficult for me to come up with suggestions.
Luckily Mr Graham doesn’t need to. Although he has yet to announce his candidacy, it’s an open secret in Mile End that he is being parachuted into the ward as the Lib Dem candidate to replace Cllr Scott Greenhill.
The petition will boost Mr Graham’s profile among Mile Enders – and actually suggesting a solution would only cause him problems if it doesn’t get delivered.
So far, so simple. But what do his fellow Lib Dems and petition campaigners think the solution to North Station congestion is?
Weirdly, they think the solution is the one that Tory-run Essex County Council is about to deliver – a connection to the new A12 junction, coupled with the new Park & Ride.
Here’s the proof, from a January 2010 edition of the Mile End Lib Dem newsletter.
Ignoring the many inaccuracies in this attempt to take the credit for the County Council’s work, the fact is that the new Northern Approach Road and the Park & Ride will very soon be delivered.
And, in the words of the Mile End Lib Dems, it will ‘really help to get Colchester’s traffic moving’ and ‘reduce congestion in our area’.
So why have they now decided to campaign for something to be done about North Station congestion, when the thing they have campaigned for is about to be delivered?
Could it simply be a cynical ploy to win votes? Sadly I think it is.
I just hope that when Mile End residents see the Lib Dem logo on their ballot paper this May, they remember how these people have tried to take them for a ride.