Luton Labour councillor Dave Taylor has described caution over the Labour controlled Executive decision to give the green light to the £100M Translink scheme as ‘stupid’, ‘ridiculous’ and ‘nonsense’ even though at this stage they do not know for certain how the costs will be met.
Questions asked by Liberal Democrat councillors about whether the government will cover the whole cost, and how the maintenance and running costs of the completed bus way will be met are dismissed out of hand. says Liberal Democrat councillor Sid Rutstein.
“Nobody disputes the need to improve public transport, especially between Luton and Dunstable, but there are still too many unanswered questions about this project for us to be sure it is the right answer and is affordable. It is irresponsible to commit the Council to a scheme for which the true costs are still unknown and the potential liability for Council Tax payers is substantial.”
When this project, to provide a guided busway between Luton and Dunstable, was last examined in detail in April 2007, the clear advice from the consultants employed to advise the Council was that not all the criteria regarding viability of the project had been met. And that there was very little contingency built into the budget. No further evidence has been produced. Notwithstanding this, the Labour Executive made the decision to proceed with the scheme in July 2007 and has resisted all attempts to demonstrate the viability of the scheme since then.