Agency says village has missed point over A14
BUCKDEN Parish Council has written to the Highways Agency demanding the new consultation on the A14 improvements be withdrawn – because it does not include an earlier alternative to retain the viaduct at Huntingdon railway station. But the agency says Buc
BUCKDEN Parish Council has written to the Highways Agency demanding the new consultation on the A14 improvements be withdrawn - because it does not include an earlier alternative to retain the viaduct at Huntingdon railway station.
But the agency says Buckden has missed the point. Both consultation exercises will be considered together when a preferred route is evaluated, a spokesman said. There was no need to re-consult on the viaduct option, which had not been challenged in the courts.
Buckden believes that the diagrams showing the various route options deliberately fail to display the removal of the viaduct over the railway and Brampton Road, in Huntingdon, and the proposed new road network in that area.
The parish council, which is fighting the removal of the viaduct, believes that the omission will give respondents a false impression of how the traffic will flow around Huntingdon and will lead to a flawed consultation result.
Council chairman Betty Millard, said: "The failure to describe the proposed road layout under the Huntingdon Town Centre Vision gives the wrong impression that both stretches of road will exist after the improvements are made, which is not the intention of the district council.
"People should be able to comment on the removal of the viaduct as this is absolutely key to how well the improvements will actually work and the legacy they will leave behind.
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"We have made it clear that we totally reject the removal of the viaduct. The real improvement comes from dividing the traffic moving East to North and East to West and maximising the lanes available to move it.
Meanwhile, in Fenstanton, parish council chairman Colin White feels the village has been ambushed by a variation to one of the consulted routes that would involve widening the existing road, which already cuts the village in two, displacing traffic onto Fenstanton's narrow historic High Street.
The inclusion of the proposal at such a late stage - "a bolt from the blue", Mr White said on Monday - is extremely curious. Not only would it affect nearly 500 homes, some of which would have to be demolished - the originally preferred Orange route affects 14 with no demolition - but part of the road is already in an air quality management area that the Highways Agency has a statutory responsibility to deal with. Widening would worsen the pollution. Moving the new bypass to the south, as originally proposed, would fix it.
Mr White plans to organise a public meeting in the village after the parish council takes a formal position in January and villagers have had the chance to look at the plans at a consultation in January.
"It may be the cheapest option, but I don't know what the cost would be in human misery.