We need proper assessment to show if Godmanchester road should change

HAVING read some of the recent material posted on the Huntingdonshire District Council website about the proposed Bearscroft Farm development, Godmanchester, I continue to have significant concerns about the changes proposed for the A1198. This particular issue has not been addressed adequately, and instead a lot of effort is being put into just making an unacceptable and lower cost solution palatable.

I refer to the Cambridgeshire County Council Road Safety Audit Report, section A1.1. This states correctly, that “the A1198 is a primary route which leads down to the A428. It is regularly used when there are accidents/incidents on the A14 by both diverted and local traffic trying to avoid congestion”.

This is one of the most important road related problems for the Bearscroft development, and one that needs to be properly solved, well ahead of concerns over positioning of signs, junction layouts and all the other detail that now seems to be moving forward. How anybody can think that turning the A1198 trunk road into a 30mph urban road with traffic calming, and pedestrian crossings is a good idea is completely beyond me. The road will be used by articulated lorries when used as a diversion route, even though, as an urban road, it should probably have weight restrictions applied. The significant reduction in speed on the A1198 from what it is now will cause further spread of congestion around Godmanchester and Huntingdon as drivers seek alternative routes.

As the report says: “Whilst a previous safety audit mentioned this as a problem, their solution to minimise this as a diversion route is unlikely to have any great effect”.

The only sensible solution is for the A1198 to be rerouted around the new Bearscroft development. That will maintain a proper flow of traffic along the A1198, while having the added benefit of removing the separation between the Bearscroft development and Godmanchester.

At the very minimum the residents of Godmanchester need to see a proper assessment and justification for why the proposed reclassification of the A1198 is acceptable, and why the alternative of a proper trunk road around the new development is not possible.


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