Concerns over planned travel hub at railway station
- Credit: Archant
Proposals for a new travel hub at Huntingdon railway station are a missed opportunity which will resemble a “massive car park”, a councillor has said.
Cllr John Morris, Huntingdonshire district councillor for Brampton and Hinchingbrooke, said the hub, being built as part of the £1.5 billion A14 upgrade, offered nothing for cyclists and pedestrians.
“This is an opportunity to create something for the future and at the moment it looks more like a massive car park which could be here for the next 50 to 100 years,” he said.
Cllr Morris, who is active in the Hunts Walking and Cycling Group, is angry that Highways England and Network Rail have not opened consultations on the scheme, even though work on the A14 - including the demolition of the viaduct above the station - is nearing an end.
He said: “I think they are starting from a point where they are not encouraging walking and cycling at all. There is a massive car park and a taxi rank on the station forecourt and that’s about it.”
Cllr Morris said the forecourt could become a “pleasant environment” for people using the station but this was unlikely to be the case.
He said the hub could provide an opportunity to install secure cycle parking and lockers to replace the old cycle sheds and outside bike parking area.
He felt the proposed access would be a hazard for students using Brampton Road to get to Hinchingbrooke School where an underpass could have been built from the A14 upgrade money.
Cllr Morris said the access to the station car park on the Brampton side of the track was also a hazard, especially for cyclists.
He felt Highways England should have been in touch with cycling organisation Sustrans to help come up with a scheme to help a wider range travellers.
Cllr Morris said that the plans for a travel hub went back to the beginning of proposals to upgrade the A14 but he had still not seen definitive designs for the scheme.
At one stage there was a bid to move Huntingdon bus station to the railway station as part of a travel hub, opening up the bus station area to create a “gateway” for the town but the move came to nothing.