A petition has been launched calling on Cambridgeshire County Council to reconsider plans for a new bridge in St Neots.
The petition was launched after the county council started a consultation on three possible designs for the proposed new link, to the north of the existing town bridge.
The petition claims that the new £4million bridge isn’t needed and that the funding should go towards something else for the town. To date it has attracted more than 180 signatures.
The bridge will provide a connection from Regatta Meadow to Priory Lane making a direct link from the Crosshall Road area to the Priory Centre, Waitrose and the town centre.
Doug Bridge, who lives in Priory Lane, says he wasn’t aware of the plans to build the bridge right next to his house.
He said: “I never had anyone knock on my door or give us leaflets about the consultation. The bridge will finish right outside my house, and we weren’t even aware of the plans until about a month ago when I saw the consultation.
“I feel worse for some of my neighbours who are actually going to have the bridge in their back gardens.
“I also think that the use of funds isn’t sufficient, it has been estimated that it will have around 350 uses a day which seems like a lot of money for something that won’t be used a lot. There were a number of other locations that would have got more use out of it.
“I also don’t understand why we are building a bridge right next to another bridge that is already used. In St Neots we have an iconic view of the river and now it’s going to be ruined.”
St Neots resident Mark Saywell has now formed a group to try and stop the bridge from going ahead, or move the location.
Mr Saywell said: “The county council has advised that if it received enoughs objections from the town to counter this push by St Neots Town Council, then it would reconsider the location. Hence my creation of the petition to demonstrate that there is opposition. Unfortunately, too many people feel that airing their views on social media are enough, but without formal ‘protest’ the message will not land, nor be accepted.
“I am not averse to a bridge in town, I am averse to the one with least economic benefit that would actually adversely impair the benefits the town gets from the civic events it holds and brings the town together.”
The bridge was approved by the county council last December and is part of the masterplan for St Neots. However, the mayor of St Neots, Councillor Barry Chapman, has said changing the proposal would not be feasible at this stage.
Cllr Chapman said: “Money has been granted by developers to build this bridge, and if we change the plans then the town will lose the money. Not only that but the county council agreed to match the money, so that will also be lost.
“The consultation was supported a long time ago, and some people might not have had a say as they didn’t live in the town.
“This kind of thing happens over a couple of years, and it can take a decade to even get funding so it’s not something that has just been chosen, it has gone through the right process.”
To view the petition visit: www.thepetitionsite.com/633/402/197/demand-reconsideration-of-the-newly-proposed-regatta-meadow-bridge.