Local Candidates Clash Over Chiswick Park Footbridge
War of words between Mary Macleod and Ruth Cadbury
A war of words has broken out between two local election candidates over the proposed building of a pedestrian footbridge in Chiswick Park.
Local MP Mary Macleod accused Labour candidate Ruth Cadbury of failing to support the footbridge which locals want built in order to alleviate pressure on the overcrowded Gunnersbury Station. The bridge would give access to Chiswick Park tube station to workers from the business park.
Mary Macleod with transport minister Claire Perry and campaigners at the site
She claimed Ruth Cadbury, the Labour Candidate for Brentford and Isleworth, had last month voted against a proposal to allocate funding towards the construction and maintenance of the footbridge, in her position as Councillor. However Ms Cadbury rejected the claim and said that the local MP had"misrepresented" her position and she had long been a supporter of the Chiswick Park Station Footbridge. She added that it was "irresponsible" of Mary to propose that taxpayer's money should be spent on the project as the funding would come from the owners of the business park.
Visualisations of the footbridge at Chiswick Park by Useful Studios
Mary Macleod, who chairs the Gunnersbury Station Action Team said negotiations over the construction of the bridge had been reignited in recent weeks thanks to intervention from the Action Team. Hounslow Council had now agreed to allow Blackstone, the owners of Chiswick Park to pay an annual fee for the maintenance of the bridge rather than one lump sum payment up front. More progress had been made in the past few months over the footbridge than in the last decade, she said.
"Although Gunnersbury Station itself needs a serious overhaul, the bridge is a vital step towards ensuring Chiswick residents are serviced by the safe and efficient transport links that they deserve. My opponent’s attempts to deny this project funding shows a clear lack of understanding of the needs of local people.”
Ruth Cadbury rejected the claim and said her position had been misrepresented by Mary Macleod.
"I have long been a supporter of the Chiswick Park Station Bridge. Gunnersbury Station is increasingly overcrowded. Completion of the new bridge to Chiswick Park station is a necessity and will provide short-term relief. I had written to the leaders of Hounslow and Ealing Councils to remove any obstacles to this happening and I am pleased an agreement has been reached. A long-term solution to the Gunnersbury Station overcrowding should incorporate a new platform on the east side of the station. Any future development of the site must include this.
"The new foot bridge is fully funded by the Chiswick Park development, so for Mary and the Conservative Councillors to propose spending taxpayer's money is irresponsible and shows a remarkable lack of understanding of the way infrastructure improvements happen"
The declared candidates for the Brentford and Isleworth seat in the General Election are Joseph Bourke (Liberal Democrat), Ruth Cadbury (Labour), Daniel Goldsmith (Green) and Richard Hendron (UKIP), Mary Macleod (Conservative).’
April 10, 2015