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Harlow Labour and Tory councillors clash over cycle tracks

News / Sat 19th Jun 2021 at 10:06am

HARLOW Conservative and Labour councillors have clashed over cycle tracks in the town.

In the first cabinet meeting under the new Conservative administration, the portfolio holder for regeneration, cllr Dan Swords, was asked a number of questions by his opposite number, Cllr Tony Durcan.

In answering a question on cycle tracks, cllr Swords said that the new Cons administration “might have a slightly better working relationship with Essex County Council than the previous administration”

Councillor Tony Durcan questioned whether he was in fact saying that “the reason our cycle tracks have been under invested is because we had a different working relationship with (Tory-run) Essex County Council”

Councillor Sword’s comments and the rest of the heated debate on the future of the cycle track start at the second minute of film.

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15 Comments for Harlow Labour and Tory councillors clash over cycle tracks:

Bruce Downey
2021-06-19 10:26:00

Labour what a joke, Keep digging. 😂

Tony Durcan
2021-06-19 10:44:06

Please to get a commitment that significant investment will now becoming to Harlow to make our cycle tracks the best in the world. Let’s see if this is true or just another Tory spin.

Connie Sosa
2021-06-19 10:48:48

Councillor Durcan is just sending out smoke to conceal the abject performance of Harlow’s hard left Momentum Labour over almost 10 years and their confrontational and negative relationship with the County Council and neighbouring authorities. It is hoped the new Conservative administration will adopt a more mature and constructive approach for the benefit of Harlow residents.

Paul Henderson
2021-06-19 10:58:48

Councillor Durcan, the message from voters to you and your Party is clear: “On your bike!”

Tony Durcan
2021-06-19 11:17:44

I will be delighted if what Dan has said is true and that ECC will now significantly invest into our cycle tracks to make them the best in the world. his word his commitment. It’s clearly not in this years ECC budget so guessing Dan has extracted extra cash to delivery on this Tory promise. If so well done Dan for a quick win.

Jarrett
2021-06-19 14:25:24

It's a pity that the cycle tracks were allowed to get to the state they are now in and if improvements are forthcoming what about installing litter bins along them, Not just new cycleways but on the existing one's.

John Curry
2021-06-19 15:18:29

sparring amongst councillors is good entertainment but it doesn't get the repairs done. Our cycle network, that I use on a daily basis is in dire need of urgent repairs. In recent months repair gangs have dug up, and replaced sections of the network, much of which did not need such drastic action! Meanwhile, there are dangerous potholes that are not getting any smaller, that have not been repaired, nor marked for repair. Is it any wonder that take up of cycling in Harlow has not, in my experience, increased by as much as one could expect? So, come on Harlow & Essex councillors, stop bickering and get on with fixing the cycle network. You might be surprised at the positive reaction by would-be cyclists.

Tony Durcan
2021-06-19 15:21:12

Jarrett completely agree and I know both the local cycle group with the then Leader of the council meet with ECC for fair funding to provide basic maintenance. HDC funded the maintenance of our own cycle tracks but remain disappointed with funding from ECC What was so shocking is the statement made by Dan Sword that we were treated differently from other councils in Essex just because we were a Labour. town. If it’s true then this is shocking and illegal If not true it appears a deliberate lie from the Tories. This won’t go away Re more bins prior to leaving office Labour committed to fund 100 extra bins with local residents suggesting we’re they should be placed . This was to include dog waste bins. Now told this commitment has been binned itself by the New Tory council.

Connie Sosa
2021-06-19 16:10:30

Why would Essex Council care that Harlow was Labour or is now Tory. There is no evidence whatsoever of partiality, unless Councillor Durcan is able to present it (doubtful). Just sounds like another vacuous excuse for incompetence by the former Labour regime. People are not interested in this blame game. They just want an efficient administration of the town after 10 years of mismanagement.

TonyDurcan
2021-06-19 17:10:56

I welcome John Curry’s comment but when your told Harlow hasn’t received monies for maintenance because the council just happens to be Labour then we need to react and challenge. If you check the video I asked several times for clarification. I’m confident the local Tory party are wrong but agree John we need real investment from the owners of the cycle tracks and that is ECC. Still not sure why this was an add on to the cabinet member for regeneration and not environment However we have been reassured that Harlow cycle tracks will be repaired and be the best in the world by the new Tory council. Sadly no time scale given even when asked.

Dan
2021-06-19 18:03:32

Can I ask, who was that chuckling and saying "well done" at around 11.17 just after Cllr Perrin's question?

Connie Sosa
2021-06-19 18:18:22

The key words by Durcan are “…….which I assume….” His assumptions are not facts and Councillor Swords did not utter, nor imply what Durcan “assumes”! Check the video. Durcan is just posturing cheaply and erroneously to seek to smokescreen his administration’s dismal record.

G Barker
2021-06-19 20:42:46

Is the money for building world beating cycle tracks coming from the Hggt developers as an 'incentive' to allow a new four lane highway across the River Stort from Riverway to Pye corner destroying the enviroment and wildlife around this part of the river?

David Forman
2021-06-20 22:34:56

Talking of cycling, whatever happened to the cycle velodrome which I was told Longmans company paid money to compensate the cycle club?

Ed
2021-06-26 08:31:05

How can Cllrs fool themselves about the quality of cycle tracks? They are not and very unlikely to be the finest in the world or even in the uk. Maintenance is one issue but there's a fundamental layout design flaw that even the developers of Gilston perpetuate: the system is basically radial from different centres and so tracks end in dead ends, not only that many are discontinuous, they are broken or interrupted by roads, cyclists have to travel on very busy roads. Good cycleways keep cyclists entirely separated from roads: the original cycle tracks in Stevenage infinitely better at achieving this than ours ever were. Good cycle track routes are not only radial but also interconnected by concentric circles of tracks rather like the metal wires on a dart board: this interconnects different areas around the town without making it necessary to travel into into a centre and out again. Cllrs need to get out a bit and not only cycle themselves but visit other cities to see best practice and design in action.

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