Consultation result shows widespread support for new river crossing in St Neots

Options for a new bridge have been considered by the public.

Options for a new bridge have been considered by the public. - Credit: Archant

There is strong public support for a new foot and cycle bridge over the River Great Ouse in St Neots, a new report has revealed.

Cambridgeshire County Council launched a public consultation in July which set out four options for a possible new river crossing in the town, with residents asked to share their views on the principle of a new bridge as well as their preferred route.

A report, set to be considered by St Neots Town Council on Tuesday, will show that more than 1,000 people took part in the consultation, with more than 75 per cent of those either strongly supportive or supportive of plans for a new bridge.

About 18 per cent of those who responded, some 190 people, objected to the idea.

Of the four options that were put forward by the county council, there preferred route was option one – a bridge from Regatta Meadow to St Anselm Place, with about 61 per cent of respondents highlighting their support for this route.

Option two, a bridge from Regatta Meadow to Priory Lane, also attracted a lot of support, with 60.6 per cent of respondents registering their support.

The majority of respondents objected to both option three (improvements to current town bridge) and option four (Riverside car park to River Terrace).

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According to the consultation, town residents selected ‘safe and convenient access to shops and leisure facilities’ as the most important aspect of the bridge project. A safe link for children travelling to school was also highlighted as important.

When the consultation was launched, the county council estimated a new bridge would cost between £2-£4million, with money coming from Section 106 money secured against new housing developments, along with other capital funding sources.

However, in the consultation responses, almost two thirds of respondents – some 619 people – said they supported a “simply designed standard bridge”, while about a third of people (283) said they objected to the idea of a more expensive “statement bridge”.

The majority of those who responded – 413 people – were aged between 45-64. Just one per cent – 11 people – were aged under 18.

According to the results, about 20 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about the cost of the project or would prefer the money was spent elsewhere.

After considering the consultation feedback, St Neots Town Council will make its comments to the county council, before the next stage of the planning process is considered.