Why we must save town’s green lung’

THE district council s intention to develop part of Riverside Park, in Huntingdon, comes as no great surprise to me. I can remember the council s casual disregard of the then town council s concerns at the considerable loss of car parking when the Sainsb

THE district council's intention to develop part of Riverside Park, in Huntingdon, comes as no great surprise to me.

I can remember the council's casual disregard of the then town council's concerns at the considerable loss of car parking when the Sainsbury's development was planned, and its suggestion that parking on that site should be "on more than one level".

It doesn't take a Brain of Britain to realise that, with the development of more houses, businesses and facilities in the town, and the (mostly) welcomed changes to Chequers Court and St Benedict's Court, there may just be a few more people wanting to visit this bright new sparkling town, and to park their cars while they do - but not at the expense of another "green lung" in the centre of town.

Having worked in local government for some long time, I find myself more suspicious of the published motives for extending the car park at Riverside than perhaps I ought.


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I think it may have more to do with making space for the guided bus route and the new cycle path than simply creating more parking spaces.

Perhaps this would then allow greater widening of Hartford Road all the way into town from Toll Bar Cottage, and surely they wouldn't want to do that - would they?

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What on earth, even now, is the justification for the costs involved in ruining the Old Hartford Road?

Answers given by the county council at the public inquiry don't exactly inspire confidence or trust.

I remember the traffic statistics trundled out by the county council when the northern bypass was planned. According to those, Hartford Road/Main Street should still be almost deserted, so newer figures still leave me singularly unimpressed.

Nobody ever knocks down houses or digs up roads to make grassy amenity areas, but they are happy to do it the other way round.

Oxmoor has recently surrendered a few acres to development. I am not convinced that the Riverside Park or Old Houghton Road should follow suit.

Some innovative policies that do not involve the loss of public amenity areas would be nice.

TED BOCKING

Home Farm Road

Houghton

I NOTED your letter from Councillor Mike Simpson (July 26) where he confirms his agreement for the additional car park on Riverside Park.

I was amazed to read in the very same edition this same councillor has concerns for the environmental impact of the guided bus system.

I presume Councillor Simpson thinks a car park for 105 cars in place of a football pitch to have no impact on the environment.

I suggest this councillor should speak to the people who voted him into office and represent their views rather than his, which appear to be somewhat fickle.

KIRSTY FLETCHER

Euston Street

Huntingdon

AS someone who has campaigned for years to raise funds to improve sporting facilities in Huntingdon, I just cannot believe that any authority would plan to put car parking on the meadow.

It is especially important for families in Hartford. The meadow is free, well used, and a centre for games, picnics, walks or just appreciating the views.

NANCY RIACH

Huntingdon

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