Rebellion’ fails

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE challenge to a 150-yard bus lane costing £850,000 fizzled out this week, when some district councillors failed to support it. The councillors wanted to delay further work on the scheme, believing that new traffic management arrangements

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE challenge to a 150-yard bus lane costing £850,000 fizzled out this week, when some district councillors failed to support it.

The councillors wanted to delay further work on the scheme, believing that new traffic management arrangements after the existing A14 viaduct over the railway in Huntingdon comes down would make it obsolete.

But, without the support of Pidley Tory, Councillor Mike Newman, who did not vote, and with the opposition of St Neots Liberal Democrat Bob Farrer, who voted with the county councillors on Huntingdonshire's traffic management committee, the move to stop work on the scheme for up to a year was lost.

Last week, district councillor Tom Sanderson claimed all six HDC members would back a move to stop the bus lane in Hinchingbrooke Park Road and Brampton Road in its tracks. In the event, only he, Tory councillors, Peter Bucknell and former Huntingdon mayor Jeff Dutton, and Ellington Liberal Democrat Mike Baker voted to delay the scheme.


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Cllr Bucknell asked for a delay of up to a year until the Highways Agency had published detailed proposals for a new road layout in Huntingdon once the viaduct is demolished.

Traffic management committee chairman Councillor Mac McGuire insisted that the decision to build the lane had been taken by the county council nearly 18 months ago, along with other bus lanes for Huntingdon and St Ives, and that, in any case, it would be 2009 before the agency's proposals for a new road layout for the Hinchingbrooke Park area were known, so a delay of just a year made no sense.

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The HDC councillors' defeat means there will be no public inquiry and that detailed design work on the scheme can continue. Cambridgeshire County Council's cabinet, of which Cllr McGuire is a member, will still have to decide whether the scheme goes ahead.

Huntingdon Town Council has condemned it as wasteful and likely to cause unnecessary congestion during construction.

There are also fears that it would need to be rebuilt when the viaduct comes down in about 10 years.

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