by Gareth Wilson on 22 September, 2008
Heavy lorries carrying tons of gravel could thunder through Haddenham and Wilburton every two minutes under a controversial county council plan.There could be more than 1,000 extra lorries a day – or a massive 40 per cent increase – under the plan to allow gravel extraction at Mepal.Liberal Democrat councilors fear that children walking to school could be put at risk to boost the profits of gravel and waste companies. Councilor Gareth Wilson, Ely Lib Dem leader who represents Haddenham said: “Most of these lorries will take the gravel to Northstowe and the
Cambridge development areas where 40,000 houses are planned to be built or to the A14 road improvements. “The idea of dispersing the heavy traffic through village roads to avoid the cost of improving the necessary trunk roads is not acceptable. Bureaucrats cannot understand that hundreds of extra lorries each day would put children’s lives in danger.”The threatened increase in traffic comes under Cambridgeshire County Council’s Waste and Minerals Plan and was raised by Cllr Wilson at Monday’s meeting of East Cambridgeshire District Council’s strategic development committee.It reveals three million tons of gravel being extracted from the Mepal site every year, transported by 150,000 20-ton lorries making return trips. This amounts to 1,154 lorries a day.“These figures are on top of the lorries travelling through the area taking oil to Cottenham for recycling, new hazardous waste planned for the Grunty Fen tip and the lorries carrying five million tons of
London waste. And the hundreds of lorries that already use Haddenham and Wilburton as a rat run,” added Cllr Wilson.
Cllr Wilson fears the lorries would travel from Mepal, along the A142 turning into Haddenham village from Witcham Toll. They would travel along Station Road which is designated as an A road but has pavement only one side which alternates from one side to another, This means children going to school have to cross this busy road three times. Once through Haddenham, he claims, the lorries would head through Wilburton, turning along
Twentypence Lane causing chaos through Cottenham and Histon. “If only a third of them chose this shorter route, this would produce one every two minutes from 7.00 in the morning to 7.00 at night,” he said. Lib Dem Councilor, Pauline Wilson, who also represents Haddenham, was incensed when she heard that county council officers were hinting that the journeys could be made at night, to prevent congestion getting worse on the A10 and A14 during the daytime. She warned that if the lorries were to travel through the villages at night, residents would have no option but to block the roads to stop them. “It is bad enough that so many lorries come through our villages now, but hundreds more, and all through the night, would be intolerable” Cllr Wilson called for a bypass around Sutton to be financed by the gravel extractors and another around Willingham paid for by the Northstowe developers.Leave a comment