Nuclear courage

PREVENTING further development within 10 miles of the A14 corridor, and restricting heavy lorries to the inside lane, would speed up improvements to the road, a St Ives businessman believes. Graham Loft, managing director of cleaning company Always First

PREVENTING further development within 10 miles of the A14 corridor, and restricting heavy lorries to the inside lane, would speed up improvements to the road, a St Ives businessman believes.

Graham Loft, managing director of cleaning company Always First Limited, believes the move would generate howls of protest from developers, hauliers, local authorities and the Treasury.

He has started a petition on the Prime Minister's website, demanding that he "prevent any further housing development within a band 10 miles either side of the A14 between Huntingdon and Newmarket until such time as the A14 and feeder roads have been given the capacity to cope with the volume of traffic and as an interim measure to restrict HGV vehicles to use of the nearside lane only".

The petition explains: "Local users of the A14 and roads from surrounding towns and villages are subjected to daily journeys that are subject to delays as a result of the failure to improve the road infrastructure to meet the needs of those who use the roads."


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About 50 people have signed the petition in the two weeks it has been active on the 10 Downing Street website.

Mr Loft said: "Asking this Government to spend money to improve the roads in Cambridgeshire is almost a lost cause, so we need to use some lateral thinking.

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"You cannot stop the trucks that simply pass through and contribute nothing to our local economy. What we can do is get them to drive more considerately and, as long as they are kept in the nearside lane, they will make our lives a little better. The truckers will then want the A14 improvements sooner rather than later and they will tackle the Government.

"If we object to any further homes being built until the roads have improved, this will hit the landowners, developers and the Government, which will lose tax income from the landowners and developers. Perhaps this will give the Government and local councils an incentive to get the job done."

Mr Loft said his morning journey from his home in Rookery Close, St Ives, to Bar Hill could take up to an hour. "I have lived in the area for 20 years. The A14 has stayed exactly the same but traffic has increased beyond measure."

With at least 11,200 homes scheduled to be built in Huntingdonshire by 2021 - most of them within 10 miles of the A14 - there is little likelihood of the Government changing its social policy or its planning guidance.

An overtaking ban on lorries on part of the road has a better chance of success, depending on the outcome of trials on two stretches of the road in Northamptonshire.

INFORMATION: The petition is at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/A14CAMBRIDGE/ Nuclear courage

GOOD to know a politician (Victor Lucas, March 21) has the courage to speak up for nuclear-generated electric power.

You don't have to be an engineer to work out that our energy demand increases in line with economic growth, and that is forecast at 1.5 to two per cent a year for the foreseeable future.

The energy that will be provided by renewables and bio-mass is welcome, but will be nothing like enough to compensate for the decommissioning of generating plants that will reach the end of their lives in the next 10-15 years, and provide for the growth our increasing wealth will demand.

So what are our choices?

Fossil fuels with the growing risk of supply and price insecurity, as more will be imported from Russia and the Middle East. And they produce the greenhouse gases.

Or nuclear? We have massive stocks of fuel for fission reactors, mainly due to our defence policy. Nuclear is a much cleaner fuel than coal, oil or gas.

I am a Lib Dem supporter and want to see Mr Blair out of No 10. But on this question he shows more courage than most politicians, including the Lib Dem leadership, who fear that advocacy of nuclear is a vote loser, and pretend we need only to build windmills.

BRIAN WALLIS, Burlington Way, Hemingford Grey

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