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Councillor quits over Marazion cycle path plan

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: April 25, 2013

  • Councillor quits over Marazion cycle path plan

  • Nigel Honess is standing down. Picture: Phil Monckton/CIOSP

Comments (5)

A LONG-serving local politician has quit Ludgvan Parish Council because of a row over a controversial cycle path overlooking St Michael's Mount.

Nigel Honess, who joined the council in 1997 and spent 13 years as chairman, has resigned his position, leaving the small council with only five out of 12 seats filled.

The move comes just days after it was revealed in The Cornishman that work had started on a footpath and cycleway between Marazion and the station car park, which more than 400 local people had objected to in a petition.

Cornwall Council started work on the site last week without informing the parish council, and Mr Honess said it was another example of the unitary body doing exactly what it wanted to.

The council said the decision to go ahead with the cycle path followed a "comprehensive consultation process".

Mr Honess, 70, said: "I am very angry and very upset. I have always lived my life by principles and I think those principles have been broken beyond repair for me now.

"I feel very sad that perhaps I am letting down the parish council members I have left behind but they understand and agree with how I feel and sympathise.

"With Penwith District Council we had our ups and downs but we always got answers to our questions.

"Sometimes we won, sometimes we did not. Since these four years as unitary it has got worse and worse."

Current parish council chairman Richard Sergeant said that Mr Honess would be sorely missed.

"Nigel is a very important member of the council," he said. "He approached me with his feeling that he was letting me and the council down which he has not, he is the one that has been let down. That is going to leave us with a council of five."

There are also rumours that other Ludgvan councillors are considering their positions in light of the cycle path decision.

A spokeswoman for Cornwall Council said: "The petition was received by the council and its contents mirrored comments received from other respondents during the consultation exercise which were fully considered as part of the decision-making process.

"The benefits of the cycle path are in line with the council's Connecting Cornwall local transport plan which aims to encourage healthy active lifestyles by promoting cycling as a safe, sustainable and healthy means of travel."

It is also intended to continue the cycle path to the Folly Field car park in the future to complete the route from Marazion to Penzance.

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5 comments

  • RichardBaker  |  June 15 2013, 1:02PM

    Mean spirited indeed, and roughshod against the wishes of the local population and parish council. Haven't Cornwall Council learned the lessons of the St. Dennis consultation failure? I have yet to see that cycle path being used for what was intended. All that has been achieved is loss of access to that stretch of beach between Folly Field and Jordan's Cafe for a wide variety of users, more unsightly street furniture for the sake of highly dubious "improved" cycling amenity. The cycle path ends abruptly on a blind bend, particularly if traveling towards Marazion. There are other pressures on land use particularly where access to the beach is now going to be concentrated in other areas such as Folly Field or Station House. What might seem to be gained on the swings is very likely to be lost on the roundabouts, with a busier long stay car park meaning that cyclists will have to negotiate more vehicles maneuvering in and out of spaces, in classic tourist fashion, with little spatial awareness or awareness that the car park is in fact now a bridge between the two sections of cycle path, and is likely to be more densely occupied than before. And this is the true motive behind the development. £50k invested to produce a rate of return of around 30%, given some displacement of free parking into the pay and display. The pay per use toilets are yet another blow. Just sell the car park and build another supermarket. You're good at that Cornwall Council. You have got this decision very wrong. Loss of amenity outweighs any shaky assertions of improved road safety. The real motive here is stemming your hemorrhaging public purse at the expense of this once great place. Please reconsider.

    |   6
  • deborahkay85  |  April 28 2013, 1:56PM

    If people didn't abuse the area by parking their camper vans over night, they wouldn't have to do it. Also, the road can be dangerous for walkers/cyclists as people race up and down the road. People need to get out more and do more exercise and just get over it.

    |   -2
  • PaddyTrembath  |  April 25 2013, 3:07PM

    eekkk, it's not a case of "Car parking or cycle/pedestrian path", it's a case of Free car parking, or spending thousands of pounds on a cycle/foot path that comes to a sudden stop. You're right about the council seeing the bigger picture, how dare anyone think that they could continue to park anywhere for free.

    |   -3
  • eekkk  |  April 25 2013, 2:21PM

    Car parking or cycle/pedestrian path .... guess what ! some local people think cars more important, lucky to have a council that see a bigger picture for once !

    |   -7
  • Marklondon  |  April 25 2013, 10:46AM

    This is a typical example of a council deciding what it wants to do and forging ahead whether or not people agree (and I know, because I work for one). Just like everyone else who objected to this mean and wasteful scheme, the fruits of my labours consisted of a system-generated email stating 'we have considered your comments and have decided to implement the scheme'. Civil disobedience is what's needed!

    |   4

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