LESS than a year is left to complete a £4million transport project in Bridgwater – or risk the cash going back to the Government.
The Bridgwater Way aims to deliver six miles of new or improved walking and cycling routes between Bridgwater and North Petherton – but so far |only one out of four route improvements has been delivered.
Just under half (£1.75m) of the 3.9million Department of Transport funding has been spent so far, split between behaviour change and infrastructure projects.
Bridgwater councillor Leigh Redman told the Mercury: “If the remainder of the money is|not used by March next year |it will go back to the Government.
“I am a little concerned that there is less than a year for the full project to be completed overall and there’s still a lot to be done.
“The Rhode Lane project was delayed due to things like flooding and I would like to know there’s a timetable in place for each element of The Bridgwater Way project.
“I have and continue to be a big supporter of TBW but it would be remiss of me not to express concern publicly as well as to officers.”
So far, a new east/west route between Wilstock and Taunton Road has been completed. Routes along the Canal Path and Rhode lane works – Sunnybank construction in Hamp – are under delivery. A direct route linking North Petherton to Bridgwater adjacent to Taunton Road, including a new bridge at Stockmoor Rhyne, is yet to begin.
Lisa Rogers, partnership engagement officer for TBW, said: “As we all know, the county suffered one its worst flooding disasters in history, which temporarily diverted resources away from route delivery.
“The Department of Transport is fully aware of this and we are in the usual regular contact with them regarding delivery of routes between now and March 2015.
“All routes are still on track to be started in the next six months and completed by March 2015.”
She added the project has included a vast number of behaviour change activities. Details of the upcoming ‘The Bridgwater Way Challenge’ will be released soon.