New group plans to fight A14 upgrade plans

A BRAMPTON woman who has been campaigning to scrap the proposed £944million A14 improvements between Ellington and Fen Ditton believes Government Ministers are starting to see things her way. Eileen Collier has set up the Brampton A14 Campaign Group to pr

A BRAMPTON woman who has been campaigning to scrap the proposed £944million A14 improvements between Ellington and Fen Ditton believes Government Ministers are starting to see things her way.

Eileen Collier has set up the Brampton A14 Campaign Group to press for the cash to be diverted to improving the A428 between Caxton Gibbet and the Black Cat roundabout and the A421 west of Bedford, which is currently the subject of a public inquiry.

She is also calling for more investment in rail freight links with the east coast ports to reduce the volume of HGV traffic on the A14, and points to the potential for the Huntingdon-Cambridge guided bus link that is due to open next spring to reduce car traffic on the road.

"We are just starting as a group and hope to hold a public meeting in the village.

"I have been plugging away for nearly two years. I have written to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Transport, Health and Environment Ministers, and I'm starting to like what I hear in their speeches about putting the environment at the heart of their policies. I'm getting very hopeful," she told The Hunts Post.

"But I have been a lone voice up to now. The district and county councils, the regional assembly and the MP all support this monstrous road scheme."

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She added: "The group is informal and apolitical - all we care about is the well-being and quality of life of our community. To date the campaign has been a quiet one, seeking to influence Government decisions by raising awareness of Brampton's situation should this ill-devised scheme go ahead.

"We now need to prepare for a Public Inquiry next year - not so far away - and need help to do this. Many who have campaigned unsuccessfully before say that overturning a Highways Agency road scheme is impossible - but times are changing. The environmental message is getting through.

"A campaign group in Wales fighting a similarly-sized road scheme (up to 11 lanes of traffic) recently won at a public inquiry. The Welsh Minister accepted the Inspector's findings and declined to issue the Draft Orders for the scheme to proceed.

"I am in touch with this group and they have generously offered to share their experience to guide us through the inquiry process.

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