IT IS rumoured that some £500,000 will have to be spent before the Lancaster to Caton cycleway can be re-opened.

Will this come out of the county's five-year cycleway budget, or will it be taken from carriageway or footway budgets that were allocated elsewhere?

When this millennium scheme was put to councils, the now county cabinet member for transport alleged that it was fully funded and sustainable. Indeed there was a surplus for upturning trees.

But how can something that is now closed for so long, and which requires new funding of such proportion, be sustainable and best value to tax payers?

Both the county director of environment and a former city director of development (now regeneration) were involved in the original scheme. One of these is a Chartered Civil Engineer.

Was the survey of the bridges, prior to the scheme, carried out diligently?

If so, why was this need for a major re-work within four years not reported to council members. Is Blobby syndrome still around?

We cannot forget that our former regeneration director was closely involved in the decision to build Salt Ayre pool on sand which, only a century earlier, had been dredged out of the Lune to fill a channel. This added nearly 50 per cent to the estimated cost.

Nor can we forget the over ambitious shopping plan around 1990.

The county testified that it would not contribute to making Lancaster's traffic any worse and the city presented witnesses to the effect that developers were waiting eagerly to build Market-gate, the cinema complex and further substantial shopping at a decent-sized bus station.

Where have they gone - with shops and cinema still empty a decade later?

We laugh at the huge overspends on the Scottish parliament and on non-working national computer projects but these blunders hit our local pockets directly. When will responsible local government come about? Not while Lancashire County Council is around, methinks.

Michael Jackson, Hest Bank.