I HAVE been moved to write because most of the comment on the new A14 has not only been in favour of it but also suggests there should be no further delay – for example, Jonathan Djanogly s latest newsletter. For someone who lives in Brampton a future wi
I HAVE been moved to write because most of the comment on the new A14 has not only been in favour of it but also suggests there should be no further delay - for example, Jonathan Djanogly's latest newsletter.
For someone who lives in Brampton a future with a widened A1 and a new A14 does not look so rosy. As you walk around the open countryside to the west of the village boreholes have appeared, surrounded by wooden fences, giving an indication of where the road will be.
The picture shows a tranquil scene to the south of Brampton tip where the road will cross the River Great Ouse. This scene will be lost for ever. To the west of the village the road will be a scar on the open farmland landscape.
The prevailing wind is from the west, so all the noise and air pollution will descend like a blanket over the village. This wind direction is most prevalent in the summer, so watch out if you want to enjoy a day in the garden.
A few people have tried to get the Highways Agency to take these issues seriously. However, if you read their documentation you will see there is a tacit assumption that, because we already have the existing roads, a little bit more noise and air pollution will not matter. Indeed, the presence of Brampton Wood seems to be an important reason for moving the new A14 route nearer the existing A1, no matter that this might increase the effects on the village.
No doubt we will be told that screening the road is not cost-effective, because most houses are more than the 300 metres away where amelioration of pollution effects is insignificant.
But what happens when there is a temperature inversion and pollution is held at ground level? What about the increase in noise levels associated with particular climatic conditions, such as low cloud and moderate westerly winds?
Widening the existing A1 will also destroy a colony of bee orchids, which survive at the slip-road from the A1 to Brampton onto Grafham Road, another minor loss no doubt of little consequence to those promoting the road.
Be in no doubt that the impact of the new road will stretch far beyond the immediate effects associated with its construction. We are on "the road to hell" and there is little, if anything, that the Highways Agency appears prepared to do to alleviate the impact on our village and our lives.
Dr PAT DOODY