VILLAGERS in The Hemingfords and Fenstanton would lose their access to Huntingdon if the cheapest of the options for the A14 upgrade were chosen, the leader of Huntingdonshire District Council has said. Councillor Ian Bates, who also represents all three
VILLAGERS in The Hemingfords and Fenstanton would lose their access to Huntingdon if the cheapest of the options for the A14 upgrade were chosen, the leader of Huntingdonshire District Council has said.
Councillor Ian Bates, who also represents all three villages on Cambridgeshire County Council, is furious that the Highways Agency has swung the new route on villagers in a new consultation that was expected to be only about part of the route five miles to the south-west.
He also accuses the agency of complacency about an air quality management area in part of Fenstanton, where the agency has a statutory responsibility to reduce pollution.
"They told me it's not so bad. But we at HDC are the experts on air quality," Cllr Bates told The Hunts Post.
His objections are to "Variation 2" of the Blue Route, one of five options in the current consultation. It would see the existing road in Hemingford Grey and Fenstanton widened to six lanes, with several homes on the southern side of the road demolished.
With a new junction at Galley Hill allowing no access from the villages, they would be cut off from Huntingdon, their old county town, he said.
The previous proposal - and all four of the others currently being consulted on - would have the new road built between Fenstanton and Hilton, where Cllr Bates lives, with the existing A14 retained as a local road for access to Huntingdon and Godmanchester.
"I am deeply concerned that this proposal does nothing for the local communities and would in fact cause more congestion on the village roads.
"It is disappointing that this is the first time we have seen this proposal and I would have expected the local community to have been made more aware and involved.
"I would urge residents to look at all the proposals but send a strong message that this new proposed route is not acceptable."
If his county and district colleagues endorse his view, which is likely in the former case and almost certain, and the agency designates Blue Variation 2 as its preferred route, the public inquiry will be so long that the road will be delayed even further.
It was originally intended to have been in use by 2010/11, but repeated delays have already put completion back to 2015.