Why space is vital - your comments

THE proposal to turn a large part of the sports field at Riverside Park, Huntingdon, into car parking is flawed in many respects and should be re-assessed. If there is such a need for spaces, why is the existing car park closed for several weeks during th

THE proposal to turn a large part of the sports field at Riverside Park, Huntingdon, into car parking is flawed in many respects and should be re-assessed.

If there is such a need for spaces, why is the existing car park closed for several weeks during the year to be used as an amusement park?

If more spaces are necessary, why not use the area between the main car park and the conveniences and boat club? This, together with re-arrangement of the existing spaces, would produce most of the extra spaces that are said to be required.

The open side of the Hartford Road cul-de-sac could be made into a formal car park. This would provide about a quarter of the spaces needed.

At present, this area is used for the display of cars for "private sale", up to 20 at a time. Currently, there are 10 cars for sale, one of which has been there for over a year, and was last moved in November 2005.

The statement by the sponsors of the scheme that the loss of the large part of the playing field is of no consequence, as it is little used, is quite specious. The area is used by all ages and a green space has its own value.

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J R PARKER, Hartford Road, Huntingdon

* CAN someone please explain why planning permission was given for the development of the new Combined Justice Centre, the Saxongate Centre, new offices for Cambridgeshire County Council and the new Huntingdonshire District Council offices without first ensuring there were sufficient parking facilities included as part of the process?

We are told of further development, if and when the viaduct comes down and the A14 project goes ahead. I received confirmation that the guided bus project is, indeed, going ahead. That, too, will take land away from the riverside.

At the same time, we are told that costs of £92.5million will be borne from Government funds with the balance of £23.7million being gathered from developers building houses in the area.

The town centre manager and business concerns tell us that there have to be immediate improvements in parking facilities and that has to be at the riverside site. Why? There are sites elsewhere within the vicinity of the town, but it means spending money and there has to be proper thought given to a longer term solution to the traffic problems.

CHARLES CULLEN, Claytons Way, Huntingdon

* HUNTINGDON Town Centre Partnership (Letters, August 2) wants to "guard our green space and parkland" by turning it into car parks and "exploiting" it.

Of course, the partnership supports the current proposals further to despoil Riverside Park. But what business is it of theirs what happens along the riverside, given that the river does not run through the town centre?

Logic and hypocrisy alike suggest that we have a "riverside partnership" that advises Sainsbury's to increase its profits by demolishing its store and returning the ground to a blackberry patch.

The question for the future is: do we want to live like human beings with civilisation and amenity or choke ourselves with petrol fumes and greed?

W MEYER, Temple Close, Huntingdon

* AS an avid reader of local issues in The Hunts Post, I sometimes wonder whether our elected representatives live on a different planet.

We read of the Pathfinder House debacle, the misguided bus service, redevelopment of the town centre and now the extension of the Riverside car park.

Many of our problems could, in my view, be solved by taking over a redundant local RAF base where there are presumably adequate administrative offices and car parking for both our councillors and employees with perhaps facilities in Huntingdon for, say, the five per cent who deal directly with the public.

During rush hours, for every car with a passenger some 15 contain only the driver. I have never seen an overcrowded bus.

It is claimed that the proposed bus lane will not be a cost to ratepayers, yet taxpayers throughout the country will have to contribute at least £2 per head.

If, as in Switzerland, there were local referenda on each item, I suspect many of these grand schemes would be rejected by the vast majority of citizens.

G A ALDRIDGE, Main Street, Hartford

* WHAT a priceless treasure Huntingdon has in its long river frontage - many towns must envy this asset.

Why sacrifice it on the altars of the motor car and financial gain?

Once it has been lost, even temporarily, it is unlikely ever to be recovered.

The existing riverside car park should not have been sited there and we must not sanction a further error.

We do not need to "exploit" the riverside as a leisure facility. It is a natural facility in an area of natural beauty.

JOAN LUMLEY, Almond Close, Godmanchester

* WE, the people, owned the site of Brookside School under the custodianship of the county council. The site was sold to private developers and subsequently permission was refused for a supermarket.

Is it beyond the wit of councillors to make a compulsory purchase order on the now derelict land and return it to the people for car parking?

G PEARCE, Willow Close, Brampton

* I WAS wondering what they were doing with Pathfinder House.

If they pull it down, why don't they build a multi-storey car park there? Lots of people work and shop in Huntingdon.

Save on parking places.

R AUSTIN, Aspen Green, Huntingdon