Deal to cut speed and solve problem parking in St Neots is secured

St Neots.

St Neots. - Credit: Archant

St Neots residents are one step closer to seeing their roads made safer after £20,000 of funding was agreed to tackle inconsiderate parking and to slow down drivers.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Local Highways Improvement committee has announced it will provide £10,000 each for parking controls in the Longsands Road area of town and the reduction of the speed limit on Huntingdon Road. St Neots Town Council would then need to contribute a further £1,000 to each of the schemes.

This follows town, district, and county councillor Barry Chapman’s presentation to the panel in November last year, when he raised the issue of commuters leaving their cars in roads around the railway station and the danger posed to pedestrians crossing Huntingdon Road.

He proposed that parking restrictions are imposed around the Longsands Road area for periods of half an hour or an hour during the day to deter those who park inconsiderately, which was selected as the preferred option in a survey of residents. He also called for the speed limit on Huntingdon Road to be dropped from 40mph to 30mph, followed by “some form of traffic island or pedestrian sanctuary”, if funding allows.

There will be a consultation on the proposals prior to the schemes being finalised and funding will be available in the new financial year, which begins in April. Cllr Chapman said that a “reasonable estimate” for work to be carried out on Longsands Road would be the end of this year, but the speed limit reduction could be sooner.

He added: “I am really pleased the scheme got through the committee – it’s a good step for residents.

“I will carry on pressing for it to be looked at as the first scheme of the year. I am also trying to get something sorted for Loves Farm. Huntingdon Road is a very difficult place for people to cross as we have got a park on the other side.

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“The number of children crossing will only increase with housing expansion – it is better to take preventative measures than to wait for something to happen.”

Rob Hitchings, 58, a retired company director of Rowley Road, said: “It is good news so far. Until we see the yellow paint dry and the first parking ticket being issued then we probably won’t believe too much of it, but on the face of it it’s great.

“It is a constant nuisance from 7am when commuters start turning up. This would mean being able to go up and down your road without aggravation.

“The police have got a lot on their plate, ideally it would be great if we could have a hotline or social media link to the police so residents could do the patrols. Whichever is the most efficient and cost effective for the residents and the police to deal with.”

He also said he would like the solution to be “flexible”, depending on the outcome of the restrictions in practice.