NINETEEN out of every 20 people polled in Huntingdon town centre want the St Germain Street link to Chequers Court re-opened, according to Liberal Democrats.

NINETEEN out of every 20 people polled in Huntingdon town centre want the St Germain Street link to Chequers Court re-opened, according to Liberal Democrats.

The gate was put up five years ago on road safety grounds after a stopping-up order for the right of way was made.

The Lib Dems conducted an exit poll of people coming out of the recent exhibition on the Chequers Court redevelopment. They found that 54 people wanted the gate re-opened, one person thought the existing arrangements were fine, and two people (both recent arrivals in the town) didn't understand the issue, party officials said.

"It was clear that the overwhelming majority of the several hundred people who turned up ignored the notice in the press that we were not to talk about 'the gate'," explained Martin Land, the party's candidate in Huntingdon in the General Election in May.

"To get so many people to a badly-organised and largely hidden away exhibition is amazing.

"Churchmanor Estates, the developers of the new site, can be under no illusion but that local people want the gate reopened. The other point made was that many people feel unable to come into town to shop now that the toilets have closed.

"Providing public access toilets in the new development would encourage more people to come into town. Let us hope that they take both lessons on board."

Liberal Democrat District Councillor Mike Shellens added: "The one sensible suggestion that emerged was that they intend to re-model the slope to make it flatter. While this does not do away with the need for the gate to be re-opened, this change would be welcomed."

Churchmanor director Howard White told The Hunts Post that the plans for the redevelopment, when they came forward later this year, would be in accordance with the district council's planning brief for the area. (In other words, the gate stays closed.)