Council considers 'range of options' to lessen HGVs impact

Former county councillor Bill Hunt has been an ardent road safety campaigner over many years. 

Former county councillor Bill Hunt - who remains on East Cambs Council - has been an ardent road safety campaigner over many years. With him (right) is the Conservative councillor who replaced him representing Soham and Haddenham, Cllr Dan Schumann. - Credit: BILL HUNT

Former county councillor Bill Hunt was told the new joint administration running Cambridgeshire is not yet convinced downgrading A roads to B roads is the best solution to improve safety.  

Cllr Hunt, who remains a district councillor, appeared at the guest speaker’s ‘podium’ today at the county council to get the statuses changed.  

He reminded members at their meeting in Littleport that on December 15, full council had passed a resolution urging the A1123 and A1421 to be reclassified.  

Council officers had been asked to purse the motion.  

Cllr Hunt, pointed out that Lib Dems members in December – but now part of the alliance running the county – had abstained back then.  

He argued that reclassifying the two roads – which affect many villages between Soham and Huntingdon – would help reduce the number of HGVs passing through.  

Council leader Lucy Nethsingha said the new administration had made it clear they were committed to reducing the impact of traffic on towns and villages.  

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She agreed heavy goods vehicles can cause issues.  

But she said the highways committee was looking at “a wide range of options”. 

She emphasised there was a real desire to find the most effective ways to tackle traffic in our towns and villages.  

Cllr Hunt demanded to know if she supported reclassification of the roads.  

And he asked if she would honour the motion from December which had the support of East Cambs Council and many parish councillors. 

“When will you be able to comply with the wishes of residents?” he asked. 

Cllr Nethsingha said the highways committee is undertaking a “significant amount of work” on the issue.  

She said whatever was decided it would be in the best interests of the people of Cambridgeshire.  

She was “not convinced” simply downgrading the roads – which would lead to loss of Government support - “would produce the benefits you say”. 

Cllr Hunt believes that downgrading the roads would remove it from Satnavs and make it much safer. 

He feels that with the improved A14 there is the “opportunity to “dramatically improve” the quality of life for local residents”. 

The A1123 runs between Soham and Hartford near Huntingdon with a small two mile stretch between Haddenham and Witcham Toll which is classified as A1421.