Matt's Crow Country: Communication going off-track in subway debate

I VE been working at The Crow for nearly three years now (yes, time flies when you re having fun) and certain topics never seem to go away. One of these is the proposed Coombes Hole underpass, which never fails to rile people when it reappears on our page

I'VE been working at The Crow for nearly three years now (yes, time flies when you're having fun) and certain topics never seem to go away.

One of these is the proposed Coombes Hole underpass, which never fails to rile people when it reappears on our pages.

The public inquiry into the compulsory purchase of land needed for the �3.7million subway began yesterday (Wednesday) amid more controversy, with alternative sites for the scheme having popped up in documentation sent out to affected parties.

The underpass itself divides opinion, and I can sympathise with both sides of the debate.


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A safe rail crossing for the north of Royston is needed to stop people crossing the line illegally.

While, thankfully, we haven't had a tragedy occur on the tracks in recent years, we don't want to wait until one occurs before something is done.

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On the other hand, there are understandable fears about anti-social behaviour which may surround the subway.

And of course there are those who are set to lose large chunks of their land, which of course should be the crux of this inquiry.

I don't know what the solution is, and it seems unlikely one will be reached which keeps everyone happy.

But what I do think is that those behind the scheme have communicated pretty badly with local residents throughout.

Take the alternative sites map, which shows two other locations for the underpass, at the A505 rail bridge and the Green Street/Morton Street junction.

Surely the sensible thing to do would have been to inform the residents of Morton Street that the subject was likely to crop up?

Instead people have been hearing things second hand, which is only likely to cause worry and confusion. The inquiry is set to last for ten days, and I only hope it will let everyone who is involved have a fair chance to give their point of view.

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