Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Reply from Michael Rowland - Parks Policy Manager, Bournemouth Borough Council

19 April 2011

RE: Stour valley,

Dear Cllr Ron,

I've written to Sustains to ask for a response.

Thanks,

Michael.

Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker

19 April 2011

RE: Stour valley,

Michael.

Yes a pity that Sustrans makes a decision without first at least involving members, certainly am far from happy with this decision, one aspect of that objective would here have been clearly achieved which would have brought objectives in bridging communities by way of opening up a existing bridleway which is at present difficult and impossible for cyclist, walkers, and yes open up a path for horse riders where we have some 120 in the Throop area, we were not asking for all the Bournemouth allocation but enough to carry out the improvement to the Stour valley project, like I have said think now it needs challenging the Sustrans decision as this was a Bournemouth project.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

Reply from Michael Rowland - Parks Policy Manager, Bournemouth Borough Council

19 April 2011

RE: Stour valley,

Dear Councillor Ron,

The decision was made by Sustrans, either they use the money locally or it would go elsewhere in the country. We put forward our alternative plans, but they did not fit in so well with the lottery funding objectives of linking communities to places of work/school or bridging cut of communities. Not a lot we can do, but yes I was a bit disappointed.

I honestly think we'll get the Berry Hill route done in the next 18 montsh or so. Lucy Marstrand may be able to give us an idea of when funding is likely to come forward. We'd jointly put S106 into this scheme.

Regards,

Michael.

Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker

19th April 2011

RE: Stour valley,

Michael that is bloody scandalise, when it was the public vote in Bournemouth that secured the connect 2 which was awarded to Bournemouth Borough Council as a contribution towards a crossing over the Stour for cyclist, walkers and horse riders.

I know Michael you are likely to be as angry as me over this, it has taken years of endless hard work, and as to the cost of all the work involved.

Sadly due to Dorset withdrawal of their share of funds, one yes appreciates Hurn Parish and estate were no friends of the project for the reasons they put in writing in 2007, what I will require to know as to WHO HAS made that decision that Bournemouth Monies should go to Dorset, why was it not returned back to the national lottery, otherwise why Dorset?

You say that the Berry hill route is now moved into the local transport plan, that itself will be the death nail, as where will it now receive any form of priority, once again Bournemouth, more so Muscliff have been kicked in the teeth, so yes I will be required to know who has made that decision, will be bring our two MPs who I trust will be asking questions on this.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Michael Rowland - Parks Policy Manager, Bournemouth Borough Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker

19th April 2011

RE: Stour valley,

Dear Councillor Ron,

I'm unhappy to say we lost the Sustrans money, I think it went to Dorset! However, we have pushed the link at Berry Hill into the Local Transport Plan and I hope we can make some progress this year.

We'll work to revive a crossing with Christchurch and East Dorset Councils who have now almost merged.

Regards,

Michael.

From Councillor Ronald Whittaker

10th January 2011

To All interested parties

Re Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Hi All, it cannot get any worse, one fully appreciates Dorset County Council difficulties, like Bournemouth, but 20 years of endless reports, plans drawn up in 1998, always objections from Hurn, with lottery win, hundreds of hours put in, and then all four alternatives routes rejected, then back to Pig-shoot, again over the last years connect 2 met, but it was clear that we were ending up with opposition from Hurn, yes it was all around local politics, landownership, vey sad day.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

From Councilor Ronald Whittaker

10th January 2011

To Kevin Humphreys, John Hayter

Copy to Ian Kalra, A.L. Bradley

Re Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Kevin, one are that I will wish that you and the officers engage on is the bridleway path [known as m15] at Berry Hill, where we are attempting to widening the existing path to allow easy access for cyclist and horse riders to the rear of the farms estate, this will allow much better access for the river side, more importantly it gets the horse riders off the main carriageway, although of course sadly it will not give access over the river.

And we must not forget the funding from Lottery was for the Bournemouth river crossing at Throop, we must not lose sight of that.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

From Kevin Humphreys Sustrans Dorset Area Manager

10th January 2011

To John Hayter

Copy to Councillor Ronald Whittaker, Ian Kalra, A.L.Bradley

Re Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Hi John,

I too share you disappointment that this scheme has not been realised.

Adrian Roper has been in touch with Bournemouth BC to confirm that Sustrans would be interested in looking at potential good quality cycling and walking schemes to fund from money identified for Connect2 and Links to Schools. I have also made the same offer to Dorset County Council.

Regards,

Kevin Humphreys

Sustrans, Dorset Area Manager

From John Hayter

10th January 2011

To Cllr Ronald Whittaker

Copy to A.L.Bradley, Kevin Humphreys, Ian Kalra

Re Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Dear All

I have followed the correspondence between Councillor Whittaker and Andrew Bradley concerning the failure of delivery of the Connect 2 scheme at Throop.

I am concerned at Andrew’s suggestion that it may be possible to spend the Sustrans money elsewhere in the County area.

This scheme was developed by Bournemouth residents to try to achieve better access to the Greenbelt and countryside around Bournemouth without the need to use a car. The Sustrans Connect 2 was a great opportunity which has not been realised.

Bournemouth should now take the scheme back from Dorset CC and be in urgent talks with Sustrans to see what other options exist for this Grant including funding the A338 cycle path to Blackwater Bridge.

I am now on holiday in Spain so will not be able to take an active part but I hope that urgent discussions can be held with Sustrans to secure this funding for improved river crossings into Bournemouth.

Best wishes, John Hayter

From Councillor Ronald Whittaker

10th January 2011

To A.L.Bradley

RE Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Andrew, believe me I do understand the all what you say, and more so the financial difficulties Dorset and others are facing, and yes I know we were going to face strong objections once the application was made. One accepts that the project is dead, but hopefully we can work up projects that will keep the funding within the area, thank for the various comments made in BRACKETS, now I have to contact all interested parties.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

From Andrew Bradley

10th January 2011

To Councillor Whittaker

RE Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Dear Cllr Whittaker,

I'll try to answer your e-mail paragraph by paragraph in brackets after each, see below. Without wishing to sound hollow, I too share your disappointment, but given the circumstances and history of this project it came as no surprise to me.

Andrew Bradley

Management Engineer

Attached Reply

Andrew, as you know, no one is more disappointed than myself, looking a many hundreds of letters/ reports over the past 20 years, all that times spent producing reports we could have built that bridge in fact in 1998 we then had a feasibility study by DCC showing the bridge, estimated costs yes, £150.000, back in 1996 we were looking at many ways of securing a crossing as some members might remember ,then it was through Hurn court, report then said most satisfactory option, well we know what happen then, yes Nothing as it would lead to a CPO, HOLD SO MANY REPORTS MIGHT BE WORTH ME WRITING A BOOK, (AB response; I realise that you have been a champion of this project for many years now and I fully respect your efforts and accept that the loss of the scheme in its current form is a massive blow, and as Project Manager since last summer a difficult one to break the news.)

Andrew yes you rightly make the point of complexities, be it over landownership, and politics, which we all know would end up with planning issues within Hurn area were the main objections have always been, one questions WHY?, (AB response; if the question is WHY do Hurn object all I can say is that it is beyond me, NIMBYism? If the question is WHY has it come to this knowing what issues we had, then the answer is that the further we got into detail the more complex the issues became. I know that not much has seemingly gone on but work has been going on at officer level to resolve many of the issues. However it has taken some considerable time to get this far, not for lack of drive I add, and this also one of the factors that put the project at risk.)

You make the point of Sustrans to explore options, I TRUST THAT WONT TAKE AS LONG AS This PROJECT HAS TAKEN??. I would wish hereto request how much has been spent so far and to ensure none of that costs have been taken out of the lottery fund, I really Will expect the lottery funding if possible to remain within Bournemouth where one has seen that DCC has recently open the trailway over the Stour at Durweston.

(AB response; we are in discussions with Sustrans to see if there are other countywide projects that can be delivered by March 2013, no decision has been made to date. The expenditure to date is in the order of 35K this covers external consultants costs, this is at cost to DCC and does not eat into the Lottery funding. You will need to lobby Sustrans direct to see if monies can be kept within the Borough.)

We know that the only FOOTBRIDGE over the Stour at Throop is some 50 years old, and recently DCC made some urgent repairs to the safety hand rail, same time replace some of the deck supports, and informed that options are being investigated for this bridge, now with the withdrawal of the Pig-Shoot Bridge, it is now of PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE that DCC do have the options worked up as soon as possible to consult with potential partners ,more so the users of the existing bridge, REMEMBERING THAT THIS IS OUR ONLY RIVER CROSSING, sadly not for horse riders, (AB response; this is noted, and I agree, however this is not a decision for me to make at officer level.)

Finally will ask why was it only through my e-mail to IAN KALRA that prompted Dorset County Council to respond to why we have not had any further meetings on Connect 2. Trust I will please receive a detail response to the questions in my email.

(AB response; Sustrans called a meeting in December to discuss the projects position. All partners sent representatives. There was a frank discussion about some of the ongoing issues and acknowledgement from Sustrans that the project was high up on their "at risk" register. At this point DCC had not received its financial settlement and the decision was taken to review our position once figures were available. On 4th January Tim Westwood, Traffic Manager, wrote to Sustrans confirming that DCC could no longer continue with Connect2 due to the financial crisis.

Events have unfolded since then and it was my intention to issue a press release firstly to the Steering Group prior to general release. This is still my intention. Your email to Ian came between Tim issuing his letter and the immanent press release)

Thank you, being one of great disappointment, CLLR WHITTAKER, (AB response; just to add that the decision to withdraw was made in discussion with Sutrans and in the light of their concern that if there was a strong chance of the project not being delivered they would lose the Lottery money.)

Andrew Bradley

Management Engineer

From Councillor Ronald Whittaker

8th January 2011

To Andrew Bradley, Network Traffic Management, Dorset County Council, Kevin Humphreys

RE Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Andrew, as you know, no one is more disappointed than myself, looking a many hundreds of letters/ reports over the past 20 years, all that times spent producing reports we could have built that bridge in fact in 1998 we then had a feasibility study by DCC showing the bridge, estimated costs yes, £150.000, back in 1996 we were looking at many ways of securing a crossing as some members might remember ,then it was through Hurn court, report then said most satisfactory option, well we know what happen then, yes Nothing as it would lead to a CPO, HOLD SO MANY REPORTS MIGHT BE WORTH ME WRITING A BOOK.

Andrew yes you rightly make the point of complexities, be it over landownership, and politics, which we all know would end up with planning issues within Hurn area were the main objections have always been, one questions WHY?,

You make the point of Sustrans to explore options, I TRUST THAT WONT TAKE AS LONG AS This PROJECT HAS TAKEN??. I would wish hereto request how much has been spent so far and to ensure none of that costs have been taken out of the lottery fund, I really Will expect the lottery funding if possible to remain within Bournemouth where one has seen that DCC has recently open the trailway over the Stour at Durweston.

We know that the only FOOTBRIDGE over the Stour at Throop is some 50 years old, and recently DCC made some urgent repairs to the safety hand rail, same time replace some of the deck supports, and informed that options are being investigated for this bridge, now with the withdrawal of the Pig-Shoot Bridge, it is now of PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE that DCC do have the options worked up as soon as possible to consult with potential partners ,more so the users of the existing bridge, REMEMBERING THAT THIS IS OUR ONLY RIVER CROSSING, sadly not for horse riders,

Finally will ask why was it only through my email to IAN KALRA that prompted DCC to respond to why we have not had any further meetings on Connect 2. Trust I will please receive a detail response to the questions in my email.

Thank you, being one of great disappointment,

Councillor Ron Whittaker

From Andrew Bradley, Network Traffic Management, Dorset County Council

7th January 2011

To Councillor Ronald Whittaker and other interested parties

Dear ALL

I'll be issuing a statement as soon as I can next week setting out our position together with a press release. In short due to the complexities of delivery including land ownership, funding, local politics and planning the project was deemed to be of high risk of not being delivered. This being the case it was agreed to withdraw the scheme from Connect2.

We are now working with Sustrans to explore options.

As soon as I have a clearer picture I will circulate an update to the Steering Group. Clearly this is regrettable but given the circumstances it became unavoidable.

Andrew Bradley

Management Engineer, Network Traffic Management, Environment Directorate

From Councillor Ronald Whittaker

7th January 2011

To Ian Kalra Transportation Services Manager, Bournemouth Council

RE Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Ian,

Wont say your call this morning regarding my email came as little surprise informing me that Dorset County Council contribution of £250.000 had been withdrawn entirely due to the financial situation and need to direct valuable resources elsewhere, such a decision clearly means that the £300.000 lottery towards our long /campaign for the River crossing will now be returned, which will naturally be a major blow to the last 20 years of when the whole river crossing was raised by myself at county hall at the then Rights of Way sub panel, being a county councillor.

Due to the Stour flood prevention scheme in the 70s, it prevented then many horse riders from the Throop side gaining easy access south of the river and were trapped by the geographical limitations of the roads and river. With this project now dead in the water, many questions have to be raised as to why after near 3 years and receiving the official Memorandum signed by both Dorset County Council / Bournemouth and Sustrans in 2009, and with little progress on taking this project forward, which again was very clearly shown in the minutes at our last meeting in June on the lack then of information/progress, really feel that this project had or was not receiving the proper consideration that was needed, due to the time table of 2013, appreciate that opposition was continuing to come from members of Hurn Parish, in fact all 4 alternative route were opposed, hence reason going back then to Pig-Shoot.

My question now has to be the likely loss of the £300.000 lottery fund, we have over 120 horses within the Throop area, how have to travel on the main carriageway to gain access to the river side at Muscliff lane end of Stour Acres, hence why after again years seeking to establish a bridleway link at Berry Hill through the back of the farms estate by widening the existing path know as M15. this request was then made some 10 years ago by Anne Peters, and has been the subject of further investigations by officers, although the access will not include a river crossing, can representations be made direct with Sustrans to see if the lottery fund which can ONLY BE USED for cyclist/walkers and horse riders, this scheme would allow access via Berry Hill for horse riders, also using one of the fields under our control for horse riders.

WHAT I DON'T WANT TO SEE THIS HARD WORKED CAMPAIGN AND LOTTERY FUNDS OVER PAST 20 YEAR LOST TO ANOTHER LOCAL AUTHORITY

Councillor Ron Whittaker

From Councillor Ronald Whittaker

6th January 2011

To Ian Kalra, Transportation Services Manager, Bournemouth Council and Andrew Bradley, Network Traffic Management, Dorset County Council

RE Connect 2 Throop to Hurn

Ian,

Appreciate that you have not been that heavily involved with this project, but time moves on, last meeting of the connect 2 was some six months ago, 28th JUNE, we have now only some two years to spend the lottery money or we lose it, also with likely future works to the main weir bridge and its deck due this year by Dorset County Council, time is running out, has any progress been made on the Bailey Bridge, personally I think with all pending objections likely as we know from Hurn Parish the chance of seeing this bridge is a far of dream, like to be proved wrong, have copied in Andrew at Dorset.

Councillor Ronald Whittaker