I HAVE recently been involved in a life-saving incident, treated by paramedics and the critical care unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Without their help, I doubt I would be here to write this letter.

It fills me with dread to think that, if I or others had to make the 20-or-so-mile journey to Addenbrooke's for treatment, facing the journey on the A14 and A428, and, after three days suffering a stroke, return to Hinchingbrooke, which is only six miles from St Neots. For this even to be considered the traffic problem must be sorted out by the emergency department.

I also believe that around Huntingdon will be the largest growth area in the country. The area of Priory Park, St Neots will within two years see a population increase of approximately 9,000 people.

It has also been suggested that Alconbury will be graced with 8,000 new homes, plus 800 at Godmanchester, and another 5,000 between the A428 and Love's Farm.

The frontline staff at Hinchingbrooke are just about coping. The oracle shows their workload will increase by 20 per cent over the next five years because of the population explosion. At present, 13 million pensioners exist in the British Isles, and another 56,000 will show in the year 2011.

The beds at Hinchingbrooke will be taken up by pensioners. Addenbrooke's is not the be-all-and-end-all in this county. Hinchingbrooke needs to be brought up to today's standard or become a smaller version of Addenbrooke's with the standard to go with it. Otherwise, all will go to Cambridge, and we shall have nothing around here.

I wonder whether the people north and west of Huntingdon think the same as I do.

L B BURGESS

Murrell Close

St Neots