St Neots road ‘hasn’t seen official maintenance for 40 years’

Councillor Barry Chapman looking at the pot holes in West Street, St Neots

Councillor Barry Chapman looking at the pot holes in West Street, St Neots - Credit: Archant

A crumbling road in St Neots has not seen any official maintenance carried out for at about 40 years – but a campaign has been started to get the potholes filled and the county council to take on responsibility for the work.

West Street – between Priory Road and Tan Yard – is in an appalling state, but before work can be carried out the issue surrounding whether it is a private or public road needs to be resolved.

At a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council last Tuesday (October 15), county, district and St Neots town councillor Barry Chapman started a campaign to have CCC reverse a decision to class it as a private road.

The road was previously owned and maintained by St Neots Urban District Council but was not adopted by the county council with highways responsibility passed to the authority in 1974.

Over the years, Cllr Chapman said, the road surface has rapidly deteriorated due to building activity and an increase in traffic. Problems have also been caused by the road being used as a rat-run by through-traffic.

Despite it being considered to be a private road, Cllr Chapman argues it is still used as a public highway.

“I don’t find it acceptable in Cambridgeshire’s largest town to have a street in this state of disrepair,” he told The Hunts Post.

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Janet Baker, a member of West Street Residents’ Association, said: “The road is unmade and has deteriorated particularly over the last five or six years.

“It is virtually impossible to push a buggy down the road and it is impossible for people in wheelchairs to use the road.

“We want something to be done about it but we don’t want it to be resurfaced unless there is a barrier in a suitable place to stop through-traffic so that it is not used as a rat-run.”

CCC said it is investigating the issue following Cllr Chapman’s comments.

A spokesman said: “Senior highways officers are arranging a meeting with Cllr Chapman to discuss the future of the road.”