Exercise over - now let's see if they bite the bullet

PUBLISHED: 13:04 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 14:38 12 May 2010

YOUR correspondent from Combelands Estate, Alan Day (Postbag, March 30) elaborated on many of the same perceived problems relating to a railway crossing at Coombes Hole, that were voiced more than 20 years ago. Then a fourth railway bridge crossing was o

YOUR correspondent from Combelands Estate, Alan Day (Postbag, March 30) elaborated on many of the same perceived problems relating to a railway crossing at Coombes Hole, that were voiced more than 20 years ago. Then a fourth railway bridge crossing was on offer. Had the first and original bridge crossing been accepted when Fairview built the two estates either side of the railway line, then that would have been considered a fait accompli by those who came to live there, and it would have been modified as the circumstances on the railway changed down the years. The Combelands track was in existence before the railway was built. I and others used it, after work, to cross the lines, when it was farm gated. Unfortunately, the track was not adopted as a highway before the lines were built. So, any rail authority was never obliged to fund a subsequent railway crossing. That cost has always fallen primarily on Herts County Council, which from the outset was always willing to fund a bridge crossing at Coombes Hole. It being the education authority, it was always concerned that students either side of the lines should have equal access to Burns Road and schools in Garden Walk. Other residents were equally concerned about getting to work, to their allotments, and for there to be a short and convenient route between Melbourn Road and the Old North Road, for a variety of reasons. A crossing by the A505 was vetoed by the county council last time as it did not favour any pedestrian access on to the bypass. A Green Street bridge crossing was turned down in the past. The construction of an underpass was considered difficult owing to the proximity of the town ditch. When I was involved in the last crossing on offer at Coombes Hole, a county council engineer on site assured me that flooding was not a problem. The most interesting outcome of this latest and expensive railway crossing public relations exercise, will be whether the Conservative MP Oliver Heald, the Conservative dominated county, district and town councils will bite the bullet and solve this protracted railway crossing problem once and for all. HAZEL P LORD High Street Bassingbourn

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