Fresh criticism of Portsmouth bus lane decision

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THE leader of Portsmouth City Council faced fresh criticism for overuling her Tory colleague and scrapping a controversial bus lane.

Councillor John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said his confidence in Cllr Jones has been ‘knocked’ after she ‘brushed aside’ the move made by Tory traffic boss Cllr Ken Ellcome to protect the majority of the route between Havisham Road and Church Street.

Cllr Jones decided to pull the 100m lane in response to a backlash from motorists about the impact it was having on their journeys.

Cllr Ferrett said: ‘I understand there was a consensus about the way forward, and that was completely brushed aside by the council leader and that has damaged our confidence in the cabinet system.’

The criticism came during a row over whether the council should scrap its single-party cabinet system in favour of a cross-party committee system. The Lib Dems said the Tories were kicking the proposal ‘into the long grass’ and not interested in exploring a cost-neutral way of making it work. But critics argued it would lead to more council meetings and extra staff costs - and more work on the idea needed carrying out.