Estate will be badly affected
PUBLISHED: 12:15 30 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:38 12 May 2010
I READ with interest the report in The Crow (March 23) on the progress of the planning of a crossing to connect the two sides of town bisected by the railway line, making for easier access to the leisure centre and schools. For your wider readership may
I READ with interest the report in The Crow (March 23) on the progress of the planning of a crossing to connect the two sides of town bisected by the railway line, making for easier access to the leisure centre and schools. For your wider readership may I just explain why those residents on the Coombelands Estate will be so badly affected if any form of crossing is connected to Coombes Hole, which is an unmade-up, dirt path which runs immediately behind their back garden fences and currently provides access by allotment holders to their allotments. They are looking at the prospect of: - The loss of privacy to their rear gardens. - The light pollution (floodlights on poles) on all night. - Constant pedestrian traffic just the other side of affected residents' rear garden fences with the increased possibility of litter, vandalism and noise. - The increased vulnerability to trespass or burglary to the rear of their properties. - In addition, the current vehicular access to their allotments will be denied to the allotment holders. Mention was made of the survey carried out by Hertfordshire Highways, which not only included residents of both sites proposed, but also included residents of the Cherry Drive and Lime Grove areas who are on the other side of the A10 and will not be adversely affected by a crossing in any event. It is therefore little wonder that the fewer numbers of residents in Coombelands were out-voted in that survey. Limited choice The choices originally given on which to vote were either a bridge or subway at the junction of Morton Street and Green Street - which is where a large number of illegal trespassers currently cross the line - or a bridge/subway at Coombes Hole. If you didn't want either of these limited choices you were deemed to either not care or to have no view. When we carried out a vote ourselves on the Coombelands Estate, the overwhelming majority (71 per cent) were against any form of crossing. The printed leaflet distributed by Hertfordshire Highways showed none of the houses which will be adversely affected at the Coombes Hole site and neither did the pictures/diagrams at the public presentations, thereby giving the misleading impression that the Coombes Hole site was least problematic. Consideration has since been given to a crossing nearer the A505 across the Twigden Homes land, but this has been discarded by the planners as not feasible even though many people currently walk or cycle along the grass verge of the A505 - that land is being "sat-on", of course, and is earmarked for even further development by planners and builders, none of whom live in Royston. The cost of an underpass at either site is estimated to be £3 million. Therefore careful consideration needs to be given to ensure that it is well spent. While we, as residents and homeowners, do identify with the concerns of those residents living in the Green Street/Morton Street area, commonsense dictates that given the either/or choice that North Herts planners have imposed then that site is obviously the least worst choice (I hesitate to say the best, as there is none in this case) as they live on a made-up road with proper pavements and existing street lighting, which has always been used by pedestrians to and from Royston Station and it runs past the front of their properties which are well protected from unauthorised entry. Finally it has been confirmed by the British Railway Police that youths who are continuing to cross the line illegally are using the corner of Morton Street/Green Street for access and if the planners are seriously concerned to save life even in the face of such irresponsible stupidity and laziness on the part of the trespassers concerned, then that is the place to build the crossing. ALAN DAY Secretary Coombelands Estate Residents Association
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