A final push is being made to gather support for road improvements at Little Paxton to prevent the area from having to deal with flood water.

Floodwater in Mill Lane. Picture: HELEN DRAKE.Floodwater in Mill Lane. Picture: HELEN DRAKE.

Little Paxton Parish Council is calling on the people of St Neots and surrounding villages to help it overcome the “last hurdle” in its petition for improvements to prevent flooding – and the diversions – on Mill Lane.

It already has 1,986 signatures in support of measures to address the issue, bringing it close to its 2,000 target, but the more people who sign the petition, the more Cambridgeshire County Council will have to take notice when the petition is presented to it, which is expected to be in January.

Parish clerk Jenny Gellatly said that residents have been “very supportive” of the petition, which was started in July.

“We would really like to submit a petition with over 2,000 signatures,” she told The Hunts Post. “The more signatures we have, the stronger voice we have.

“There have not been any closures of Mill Lane recently but you just don't know what's around the corner.”

Mill Lane gets closed to traffic whenever the River Great Ouse is high – water flows over the road, which links St Neots to Little Paxton and the A1, making it impassable.

Mrs Gellatly said it affects people's journeys to St Neots and the railway station and causes gridlock.

She added: “We don't have a solution – we are just saying 'there is a problem, can you do something to address it?'”

David Harty, a CCC councillor for Little Paxton and St Neots North, said: “The county has a meeting arranged in the near future in which we will be talking about flooding generally throughout the county, and that's obviously an area that I shall draw to their attention.

“I think the difficulty is we have a number of areas where the flooding is high up on the list and that's something that we have got to face. We would listen to anyone that has got some ideas of what could happen at Mill Lane – it is a very difficult junction.”

Cllr Barry Chapman, who also represents the ward at CCC, said: “I have been pushing for this – we have got a meeting in December to discuss the strategy and that is a step towards getting something done. It should have been recognised that this was a problem years ago. It creates havoc in Little Paxton every time there is flooding there. It is an essential part of the infrastructure for the area.”

He added that Mill Lane, along with other transport issues, will be discussed at a meeting with Cllr Ian Bates, chairman of the economy and environment committee at CCC, on December 11.

A CCC spokesman said: “We welcome the petition and listening to the concerns of the parish council to see what can be done. We are already working with the Environment Agency to see what mitigating measures could be carried out to reduce the amount of time the road is closed due to flooding.”

The petition is available at the post office in The Anchor, High Street, Little Paxton and online at www.gopetition.com/petitions/improvements-to-mill-lane-roadlittle-paxton-to-prevent-closure-due-to-flooding.html.