Bridge unacceptable’ despite survey findings

PUBLISHED: 09:57 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 17:11 11 May 2010

Cllr Tony Hunter

Cllr Tony Hunter

A SURVEY which supported the erection of a bridge to provide a safe rail crossing has been criticised by a residents group. The survey said a bridge built across the railway at Coombes Hole, Royston, seemed to offer the more appropriate solution to an is

A SURVEY which supported the erection of a bridge to provide a safe rail crossing has been criticised by a residents' group.

The survey said a bridge built across the railway at Coombes Hole, Royston, seemed to offer the more appropriate solution to an issue which has been discussed for almost 20 years.

But residents from the Coombelands Residents' Association have told councillors that the bridge would be "unacceptable".

Association spokesman Alan Day told members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee that the proposal for a bridge at Coombes Hole would result in a loss of privacy for nearby residents.

District and county councillor Tony Hunter said: "It's looking as if a subway might be a better option because it'd be less intrusive.

"I had always backed the idea of a bridge because every subway in London has always been an area of hazard as far as I was concerned.

"But the way the bridge is being described, it will be enclosed due to health and safety reasons, and they started saying things about lighting and closed-circuit television for the subway.

"So, in hindsight, I've decided to change my mind and go with a subway, rather than a bridge."

Opposition came just days after the results of a second survey of residents in the immediate area revealed more than a third supported a bridge at Coombes Hole.

Of the 543 residents living in the area that would be immediately affected by the proposals, 293 responded.

A bridge at Coombes Hole was most popular with 107 votes and a bridge at the second proposed site - the junction of Morton Street and Green Street - received 85 votes.

An underpass at the Morton Street-Green Street site gained 61 votes, while an underpass at Coombes Hole received 27 votes.

Councillor Bill Davidson, who was behind the distribution of the second survey told The Crow: "When a decision is made on what and where the crossing will be, the effect it is going to have on local residents in the immediate vicinity must be taken into consideration.

"That's something that is very important in my opinion."

It is estimated that an underpass at either site would cost about £3 million, while a bridge would cost an estimated £1 million.

The matter has now been passed over to Hertfordshire Highways, which has been asked to respond to the district council before it meets in March.

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