The “physical impact” of a new road layout on Huntingdon’s common land and heritage after the removal of the A14 viaduct needs to be minimised, says Huntingdonshire District Council.
The authority has agreed its response to the Highways Agency’s consultation on the multi-million pound Cambridge to Huntingdon A14 project.
Overall, it supports the scheme, but it has stressed the need for more work on how the old A14 is connected to the current network.
In a report to HDC’s cabinet, head of development Andy Moffat said: “Concern remains in relation to the physical impact of these proposals at both Mill Common and Views Common, and the need to provide and maintain access to the key transport node at Huntingdon Rail Station.”
Mr Moffat welcomed discussions on alternative designs to minimise the impact of the new routes in and out of town, particularly at Mill Common and near Hinchingbrooke House.
On the impact on the area’s heritage, including Post Street, in Godmanchester, and the Medieval town bridge, he said: “This is a highly significant area relating to the wider arena of Huntingdon’s historic environment, and any final scheme must maximise opportunities to minimise impact and, indeed, to enhance these following de-trunking in order to create an appropriate legacy.”
HDC has also asked that work continues on considering an extra road link from Parkway, Hinchingbrooke, across Views Common, to the A14. Mr Moffat said such a link would “further minimise traffic impact at the Hinchingbrooke Park Road junction”.
He also called for consideration of a separate bridge for cyclists and pedestrians north of the Brampton Road railway bridge.
The rest of the scheme is widely supported by HDC, says the report, including the widening of the A1 near Brampton and its realignment further west.
It asks that access to Brampton Wood and Brampton Hut services, across the A14 and A1, is maintained for people on foot.
The route of the southern bypass is supported, on condition that issues such as noise, landscaping and air quality are adequately dealt with, and that particular attention is paid to the design of the new bridges across the River Great Ouse and the East Coast Main Line.
Mr Moffat adds: “Communities such as Brampton, Buckden, The Offords and Hilton require the best possible mitigation measures provided as part of the proposed scheme to properly mitigate any adverse impact.”
HDC has also said its financial contribution – up to £5million – will be paid only if the viaduct is removed and replaced with a new road network, improving access to Huntingdon, and only if work starts by late 2016.