The great divide

PUBLISHED: 11:22 04 October 2007 | UPDATED: 15:16 12 May 2010

Share in £50 million Lottery cash could see an end to

Share in £50 million Lottery cash could see an end to

A DECISION is expected in two weeks time over whether a project to develop a rail underpass will be short-listed in a massive £50 million Lottery cash pay-out. The £3.5 million scheme would see a rail underpass developed at Coombes Hole in Royston. Succe

Rory Rees, the two-year-old grandson of Cllr Doug Drake, gets prepared for underpass work at Coombes Hole, Royston – Daniel Wilson 2593DW27

A DECISION is expected in two weeks' time over whether a project to develop a rail underpass will be short-listed in a massive £50 million Lottery cash pay-out.

The £3.5 million scheme would see a rail underpass developed at Coombes Hole in Royston.

Success in a televison poll in December would mean the project could receive about £700,000 in Lottery money.

The scheme is part of an ambitious submission from the transport charity Sustrans under its Connect2 project which is looking for Lottery money to help towards the cost of 79 proposals across the county.

As part of a campaign in making the public aware of the television poll, Herts County Council highlighted on Thursday the problems of the railway track splitting the Burns Road development from the rest of Royston.

There have been several campaigns over the past 25 years to have a safe crossing developed at the site to prevent people from walking across the track.

The division caused by the railway track was demonstrated on Thursday with a group of pupils from Roysia School assembled on one side and the public and students from The Meridian School on the other.

The idea was to give public support to a project and the bid from Connect2 in the Big Lottery's Living Landmarks: The People's Millions poll.

Royston's county councillor Doug Drake, who has been leading the campaign at County Hall, said: "The public vote in December is crucial."

He continued: "This project started due to safety to school issues and illegal crossing of the railway line, but today it is even more important."

And his words were supported by Cllr Stuart Pile, the county council's executive member for highways, transport and rural affairs, who said: "We need everyone to get behind Connect2 and vote for the scheme."

It is hoped that work will begin on the project in December 2009.

Meanwhile, allotment holders at Coombes Hole are worried that the scheme will see the loss of 12 plots on the Royston Town Council-owned site.

Members of the Royston Allotment and Gardens Association have seen a draft plan of the scheme and claimed it showed "total disregard" for the allotment site.

They believe plots will be lost because of the laying of services for the underpass on the allotment site.

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