Trial closure of Godmanchester to Huntingdon bridge is delayed
- Credit: Archant
A trial closure of the Godmanchester to Huntingdon bridge has been delayed due to concerns over traffic, re-routing of bus services and effects on local trade.
Town councillors decided that the closure should be put on hold until there is a “return to some form of normality”.
It would have meant that the medieval bridge between the two towns would be shut for a trial period – to all but emergency traffic and cyclists – to encourage more people to get active.
It was hoped that pedestrians would make use of more space on the footbridge and the road bridge be safer for cyclists.
Buses would be diverted along the A1307 – with roadworks still being carried out along the stretch and ring road.
At a Godmanchester Town Council meeting held on March 18, councillors said they had “considered the pros and cons” of the closure.
“While many people had told the town council they were in favour of a closure - because of the benefits for cyclists and the opportunities to make parts of the town quieter - others expressed concern about the impact on bus services and local businesses dependent on passing trade,” a spokesperson said.
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“The council therefore decided that a meaningful trial could not take place until we return to some form of normality, and that it would be premature to consult with our residents and make decisions on whether to trial a closure of the bridge until then.
“Once we have seen how traffic settles down, we will reconsider the situation.”
The town council also advised that bus operator Whippet said they would not be able to pick up at The Avenue or Post Street or maintain the current X3/X2 services in the town if the trial was to go ahead.
The 478 service would also have had to terminate at the bus station.
Godmanchester and Huntingdon South County Cllr Graham Wilson, said: “I fully support the decisions of Huntingdon Town Council and Godmanchester Town Council not to consult local residents and businesses on a possible trial closure of the bridge between the two towns at the moment.
“We need to let Highways England finish the works on the A1307 and round the ring road so we can see what the impact on traffic will be.
“There are many people who are worried about the possible impact on their bus services and the local businesses dependent on passing trade.
"Once the A1307 works are finished and traffic settles down in a post-Covid world, we can review the situation again.”
Huntingdon Town Council voted not to support proposal in December after it was put forward by Cambridgeshire County Council in September last year.