The future’s Orange – surely!

I AM a resident of Godmanchester, who will be severely affected by the Blue and Brown alternative routes proposed for the A14 – as will the rest of the residents of Godmanchester and Brampton. I would like to express my preference for the Orange route, wh

I AM a resident of Godmanchester, who will be severely affected by the Blue and Brown alternative routes proposed for the A14 - as will the rest of the residents of Godmanchester and Brampton.

I would like to express my preference for the Orange route, which was the original proposal approved by the district and county councils. However, the Highways Agency in its summary at the exhibition unfortunately has slanted the assessment against the Orange route in two important aspects: noise and landscape impact.

The study presented in the exhibition failed to consider the effect of the prevailing wind in the propagation of noise.

As the prevailing wind is from the south-west, the much larger population of Brampton and Godmanchester will be severely affected by placing the Blue and Brown routes so close to them. In contrast, the Orange route will have minimal impact in Offord Cluny as the prevailing wind will take the noise away from the village. The consultants, WSP, estimated that with the Blue and Brown routes the noise levels in Godmanchester and Brampton will more than double.

In decibel terms the noise will increase from less than 55 to 65 and, as it is measured in logarithmic scale, it means a more than 100 per cent increase in noise level. According to the consultants, the incidence of the prevailing wind was not considered in the assessment. This omission explains the surprisingly erroneous summary.

The study presented in the exhibition comes to the conclusion that the Orange route will have a more adverse impact in the landscape.

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It seems that the main consideration taken by the consultants was that the viaduct crossing the river Ouse in the Orange route is slightly longer than in the Blue and Brown options. However in the latter two options, by being closer to Port Holme - a protected area - the visual and noise impact will be much more significant in this outstanding recreational and high-value landscape area. In addition the Blue route will destroy the Brampton Golf Course, a popular recreational area for the local population.

Huntingdon, Godmanchester and Brampton residents should be encouraged to support the Orange route, as it would considerably reduce the negative impact on this area.

Professor MARCIAL ECHENIQUE, Head of Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge Farm Hall, Godmanchester

* AFTER reading the public consultation leaflet on the A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton, I can't believe any of the alternatives to the Orange Route are even being considered. The Orange Route clearly has the least impact on the surrounding area and is also one of the cheapest options.

There are fundamental flaws with each of the alternatives to the Orange Route. Firstly the Brown Route must be ruled out due to the serious environmental problems and astronomical cost of building over a landfill site.

The Blue Route is far too close to Godmanchester and is even closer to Brampton. It would be right on the doorstep of the houses in the south of Brampton and the rest of the village would be completely enclosed by dual carriageways.

Blue Variation 1 is just as close to Offord Cluny as the Orange Route but also manages to be close to Godmanchester as well, so it has no advantages over the Orange Route, would upset more people and is also £10million more expensive.

Blue Variation 2 has all the problems of Blue Route plus it joins the old A14 before the St Ives junction. I travel to St Ives every day on the A14 and experience daily gridlock at this junction. This would undoubtedly continue if the new road joined at this point, which surely defeats the point of building the new road. It would also cause major disruption while the existing road is being widened.

The Brown Route and almost every variation of the Blue Route are all about a quarter of a mile south of Godmanchester, affecting hundreds of homes, whereas the Orange Route is over half a mile away from the northern tip of Offord Cluny where there are only a handful of houses.

Godmanchester has been steadily expanding ever since my family moved to the area nearly 25 years ago and the Brown or any of the Blue routes would bring a sudden halt to that growth. I don't remember a single house being built to the north of Offord Cluny in all that time. The choice between building a motorway right next to a growing town or a reasonable distance away from the tip of a sparsely populated village seems clear to me.

The Orange Route is the only sensible option.

THOMAS PORTER, Bluegate, Godmanchester

I VISITED the Offord Cluny exhibition and noticed the computer map did not show a development at Brampton (the recycling centre) which has cost hundreds of thousands to develop.

The Blue route has a major junction built over the top of this. The people there had no knowledge of this, and the computer map they used was purchased only three months ago. Does this give me confidence that these people know what they are doing?

S D HARRIS, Great North Road, Brampton

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