Thicket Path Inquiry - The Experience

Attended the second day of the Local Public Inquiry into Cambridgeshire County Council's proposal to change The Thicket footpath into a cycle track. Interesting experience.

Apparently it was a full day yesterday, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Started this morning at 9.30am, continuing with objections. Three formal organisations plus about ten in the audience present as objectors. Three on Cambridgeshire County Council's side. The Inspector as chairperson.

The County Council have employed Cain Ormondroyd, no less, to represent them. He's a top rated barrister who must be costing them several hundred pounds an hour. Somewhat galling to see the hard pressed Council spending taxpayers money to defend itself... against its taxpayers!

First up was the representative from Houghton and Wyton Parish Council. A somewhat rambling presentation lasting best part of two hours. Then an hour's grilling from the barrister. One of the Parish Council's arguments about the footpath being too narrow was somewhat flawed when they admitted they favoured the route being appointed as a bridle way. If it's not wide enough for a cycle track, surely there's no chance for a bridle track. Their rather strange justification was horses slow bicycles down.

Was next up and really looking to a verbal joust with Mr Ormondroyd. Made my points, questioned Steve Ouditt, the manager from the Council, about his non reply to my calls, voicemail and email. Apparently he never got the voicemail or email. But puzzlingly, I was on a list of people he'd emailed a reply to. Did I get that? No I didn't.

Bit of an anti-climax when Mr Ormondroyd chose not to question me. Stayed a further 30 mins to listen to the next objector, left about 1.30pm.

Not sure when the Inspector's decision will be published. I've indicated I'd like a copy and will pop it on the web site when received.

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