A14 threatens commons

WHEN I saw the A14 exhibition, I was horrified at the way in which, far from undoing the gross intrusion of the existing route into the Huntingdon landscape, yet more of the town s unique commons are to be carved up for three large roundabouts and a new r

WHEN I saw the A14 exhibition, I was horrified at the way in which, far from undoing the gross intrusion of the existing route into the Huntingdon landscape, yet more of the town's unique commons are to be carved up for three large roundabouts and a new road across Views Common.

I was also horrified by the assumption in your article about the A14 exhibition

(November 26) which didn't even mention these amenity issues - and, even more, by the statement that the road was mandated by government policy.

Government policy, now enshrined in law, is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Unless road traffic and aviation stop growing and start to decline, as Mr Prescott famously promised us (in the case of road traffic) when Labour took office, they will hog most of our emissions quota at the expense of the rest of our economy.


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Nor can we rely on buying emissions permits from other countries. How can we possibly know that they will have any permits to sell at a price we can afford?

If the A14 project does take place, we want it drastically scaled down so that it doesn't create more capacity to be filled by ever-growing traffic. This would cut the obscene cost of the scheme - more than six times the estimate the Highways Agency allowed to go into the CHUMMS report.

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And we want more emphasis on the environmental pluses: the existing route across Views Common should be returned to grass; traffic between Godmanchester and Huntingdon should be directed onto the existing A14, thus enshrining traffic relief for Godmanchester and creating a safe, pleasant and uncongested route to Huntingdon for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users; and a full interchange should be provided with the A1198 enabling one carriageway of the existing route between Fen Drayton and Huntingdon to be dedicated as a public transport corridor - as recommended by the CHUMMS report.

SIMON NORTON

Coordinator, Cambs Campaign for Better Transport

Cambridge

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