A CAMPAIGN is under way to have a new footbridge built over the A1, allowing pedestrians, cyclists and horseriders easy access to Brampton Wood. Surveys are being carried to determine how many people would use the bridge in a bid to persuade the Highways

A CAMPAIGN is under way to have a new footbridge built over the A1, allowing pedestrians, cyclists and horseriders easy access to Brampton Wood.

Surveys are being carried to determine how many people would use the bridge in a bid to persuade the Highways Agency to build the new crossing.

The campaign is being run by organisations including the Ramblers Association, Brampton Parish Council and Action for Communities in Rural England.

There is also support from Cambridgeshire County Council, the Brampton Bridleway Group, Buckden Footpaths Society, Huntingdon Cycle Touring Club, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and the Wildlife Trust, which manages Brampton Wood.

The group has been told by the Highways Agency that in principle it agrees that there is a need for a safe crossing. However, the group will need to establish potential use.

A questionnaire has been placed in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Ramblers Association newsletter and in Brampton Parish Council's magazine. It has also been passed to horse-riders and cyclists.

One of the organisers of the campaign, Jacky Homer, told The Hunts Post: "A crossing existed at the same point for centuries. Today you have to take your life in your hands in a mad dash between the fast-flowing lanes of traffic to reach the safety of the other side.

"Now, the forthcoming A1/14 road improvement scheme offers the chance to re-instate a safe crossing for generations to come."

She added: "For the residents of Brampton, a crossing would once more make the oasis of Brampton Wood accessible to them.

"Horse riders, cyclists and more serious walkers would be able to enjoy the local bridleways and once more gain access to the villages and countryside beyond.

"Potentially, links could be established so that pedestrians could reach the local services at Brampton Hut safely and no longer have to choose between a dice with death and a two-mile detour. A recent meeting of interested parties held by Brampton Parish Council heard from a police community support officer who pointed out that a call to Brampton Hut meant a return to the police station to collect a car instead of a five-minute bike ride.

"I've lived in Brampton for almost 30 years and I used to be able to take my children over to Brampton Wood. Each year the traffic has got worse and worse, making crossing impossible. The county council says that technically a crossing still exists there and, with the increased traffic levels expected from the A1/A14 improvements, it is imperative that the Highways Agency takes this opportunity to provide a safe crossing for residents and visitors alike."

INFORMATION: To support the campaign for the footbridge, write to Brampton Parish Council, Brampton Memorial Centre, Thrapston Road, Brampton, Huntingdon, PE28 4TB or e-mail brampton.pc@virgin.net.