CAMPAIGNERS have accused Southend Council of wasting more than £1.8million drawing up controversial plans to ease traffic bottlenecks on Priory Crescent.
The Priory Park Preservation Society, which opposes the road widening scheme, used a Freedom of Information request to obtain the figure for work so far.
The council is waiting for Government funding for its revised scheme, but the society said it was a white elephant which should be scrapped.
By GEOFF PERCIVAL
SOUTHEND Council has spent more than £1.8million of taxpayers' money on the Priory Crescent widening scheme, according to a pressure group.
The Priory Park Preservation Society said £1.875million had been spent, according to a freedom of information request they submitted to the Department for Transport.
Secretary Denis Walker said the latest available information was from July 2006 and the society wa hoping to get a more up-to0date breakdown from the council.
He said: "At over £28,000 per metre, the Priory Crescent scheme remains one of the most expensive roads in the world, but it clearly won't resolve the problems it seeks to address. The council should scrap this white elephant and use the money for more worthwhile projects."
There have been three different schemes drawn up for the area and a public enquiry since the scheme was first discussed in 1997.
Anna Waite, Southend councillor for roads, questioned the figures obtained by the group, and said she would investigate further.
She said: "This seems an extremely high figure which I find hard to believe, even taking into account the cost of the public inquiry.
"I shall be asking the highways department to give me a full breakdown of all the up-to-date figures as soon as possible."