Keep your distance from closing tip

THE Buckden household waste recycling centre closes this Friday. A new recycling centre will be opened in Cromwell Road St. Neots, but not until September 2009. Speaking in the county council last week, Councillor Barbara Boddington, county councillor fo

THE Buckden household waste recycling centre closes this Friday. A new recycling centre will be opened in Cromwell Road St. Neots, but not until September 2009.

Speaking in the county council last week, Councillor Barbara Boddington, county councillor for Buckden, made the astonishing claim that Buckden residents will find it more convenient to go to St Neots than to the present site on the Buckden/Brampton boundary.

She said that residents would be pleased not to have to negotiate the difficult A1 roundabout (because they would use the minor roads through the Offords and Great Paxton) and they would be able to combine a trip to the tip with doing their shopping in St Neots.

The facts are that the return journey from Budgens (in the centre of Buckden) to the HWRC on Buckden Road, Brampton, is 3.3 miles. The return journey from the same starting point to Cromwell Road, St. Neots, is 13.9 miles. Drivers have to negotiate a single lane bridge over the river and the level crossing over the East Coast main line. The journey through the traffic-calmed villages of the Offords and Great Paxton is slow compared with the short stretch of A1 dual carriageway.

The closure of the Buckden tip will mean longer journeys, higher fuel costs and more carbon emissions for the majority of residents in Huntingdon, Godmanchester, Brampton and Buckden.

Councillor Jeff Dutton disagreed with this by saying that Alconbury is nearer for him. Councillor Colin Hyams said he had visited Alconbury and was very impressed by what he had seen, but of course he was talking about the municipal waste transfer facilities, not the household waste recycling centre.

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The Conservatives are falling over themselves in their efforts to defend the indefensible. At a time when we are all under pressure to recycle more and reduce our carbon footprint, a contract should not have been negotiated that requires people to travel further to recycle their unwanted household items and the green waste they can't squeeze into the green bins.

County Councillor PETER DOWNES

Brampton and Kimbolton

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