JOURNEYS between Huntingdon town centre and the railway station could become quicker for cyclists – and a bit easier for pedestrians as the route would be lit.

A new cycleway and footway could be built across Mill Common to link the town centre and the railway station.

Huntingdonshire District Council had previously applied to upgrade the existing footpath along the Walks North to make it a shared pedestrian walkway and bike lane, but the plan proved unpopular during a consultation held by Cambridgeshire County Council – with objectors claiming there would have been safety issues.

“An agreement could not be reached and consequently an alternative route had to be sought,” HDC's design and access statement for the proposed path states.

“The only viable option was to construct the cycleway element away from the existing footpath and, with permission from the Freeman of Huntingdon, on a new section within Mill Common itself.”

This scheme would provide a 2.5m-wide path, following the current route which runs from the station across the common. It would then run parallel with the Walks North. Homes on The Walks would be separated from the new path by the existing footpath, which is about 2m wide, a grass verge, a row of trees and a cast iron fence, as well as another 1.5m of common land.

Cattle grids would be placed at both ends of the path to keep animals off Huntingdon ring road and Network Rail land, while new lighting would be included along the entire length of the path – the new lampposts would be part of Cambridgeshire County Council's replacement lighting programme.

Mill Common is part of a conservation area and there are listed buildings nearby, but HDC believes the cycleway would be “sufficiently remote from the listed properties to have little or no impact”.

The planning application was submitted on January 8 and is currently pending consideration.