Campaign for bridge gathers more support

A CAMPAIGN for a footbridge over the A1 at Brampton gained pace this week when a document identifying more than 13,500 potential users was presented to the Highways Agency. The campaigners said they were told by the Highways Agency that the footbridge was

A CAMPAIGN for a footbridge over the A1 at Brampton gained pace this week when a document identifying more than 13,500 potential users was presented to the Highways Agency.

The campaigners said they were told by the Highways Agency that the footbridge was agreed in principle, if they could establish its potential use.

Brampton Parish Council, which is fronting the push for a bridge, says it now has the support of 13,580 who responded to its questionnaires, but believes this is just a starting point.

The council says it also has the support of the parish councils of Buckden, Grafham, Ellington and Perry, as well as Jonathan Djanogly, MP for Huntingdon, district and parish councillor Peter Downes, the Ramblers Association, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, (CPRE), Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and the cyclists' campaign Sustrans as well as officers at Cambridgeshire County Council and Huntingdonshire District Council and Huntingdonshire businesses.

The campaign document says that a crossing over the A1 at Brampton had existed for centuries but was now unusable because it was so dangerous to try to cross the four lanes of traffic. It adds that proposals to realign and expand the A14 would increase traffic and create a further barrier between Brampton and the west.

However, it emphasizes that this also offers an opportunity to provide a new, safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, as reported by The Hunts Post in May.

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The document adds that the original footpath, listed as BR19, still exists and therefore so does the right of way.

It says: "Within living memory, it was possible to cross from West End, a small road in Brampton, to a bridleway (BR19) which led up to Brampton Wood to join other footpaths and bridleways in the whole area of Grafham Water, Ellington and beyond.

"Using the route of BR19 to cross the existing A1 is now virtually impossible. There are currently four lanes of traffic and ditches on both sides. Traffic is travelling at high dual-carriageway speeds. There are currently estimated to be 36,000 vehicles using this road daily.

"The present A1 effectively separates east and west in Huntingdonshire for walkers, horse-riders and cyclists. There are no safe and traffic-free crossings."

One of the campaign organisers, Brampton parish councillor Jacky Homer told The Hunts Post: "The new A14 will affect Brampton more than anywhere, even Offord. But it is a chance to provide a safe crossing for generations to come. It would make Brampton Wood accessible to Brampton residents again.

"I've lived in Brampton for over 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. 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."

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: "We have received the correspondence and will be looking at it. We are aware that some local people would like a bridleway and footbridge built over the A14 at Brampton and this is being considered.

"However, no decision can be made in advance of the A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton improvement scheme preferred route announcement for the Ellington to Fen Drayton section, because one of the possible routes runs alongside the A1 and so would have an impact on any potential crossing.

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