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OPINION: This make and mend road is a vital link and even in its third world state it’s all we have! 

Whittlesey needs to rethink its relationship with motorised transport

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Three years ago, Whittlesey councillors were shown images of the A605. Cllr Dee Laws passed the images to Cambs Highways. Cllr David Mason dismissed all responsibility for the appalling state of the A605 (see photographs). 

Cllr David Connor, also a county councillor, after being ‘nudged’ by a member of the Whittlesey Business Forum, arranged a meeting a month later in the summer of 2021 with Cambridgeshire County Council employees, Jonathan Clark, and Nick Munns to discuss safety issues on the A605.

To date, this has achieved nothing.

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Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey

Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey

The uncertainty suffered by thousands of people who use the A605 and their anxiety about getting to work on time using a rubbish road is a reality! One that has passed Councillor Connor by.

He lives twelve miles from Whittlesey, and this may well be why he has neglected the town he was elected to serve.

If he was genuinely interested in attracting quality investment and promoting Whittlesey as a great place to do business, the importance of connectivity on a decent road for residents and visitors alike is imperative. This has clearly failed to register with Cllr Connor and his colleagues.

Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey

Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey

People who think the puddled A605 is just a route to work are wrong. This make and mend road is a vital link and even in its third world state it’s all we have!

The King’s Dyke bridge, built to ‘increase capacity’ has seen the A605 become busier than ever but that is only a marker of how things are changing and why the usefulness of the only viable route to Peterborough will be diminished as being unfit for purpose in supporting anything to do with Whittlesey.

The importance of Peterborough to our economy is crystal clear but could this arm’s length relationship be further strengthened to benefit Whittlesey in ways that we cannot comprehend.

Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey

Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey

Our forefathers fought against cooperating with the new city, their poor judgement mustn’t be repeated.

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If the mention of change is relegated to a pipe dream, analysts in the future will wonder why the town’s representative council did such a poor job in addressing better traffic management as being a crucially important local priority.

Without doubt a bypass along with a thorough assessment of how residential locations are accessed must come first, as well as innovative solutions for commercial and business access and radical planning for car parking in the town centre. Importantly we need an honest proclamation of the known facts of traffic induced pollution that continues to cause chronic and acute illness.

Whittlesey needs to rethink its relationship with motorised transport.

Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey

Peter Baxter says little or nothing is being done to improve the A605 through Whittlesey

For many, the sight of squalid last century dirty, noisy, industrial land use at the site of the old Saxon pit, accessed by a dilapidated road and pavements, conveys the impression that our town has no civic pride.

Controlled by denialists who while navel gazing, are blind to the dereliction of the impressive William and Mary bank building and with unimaginable naivety condoned a brownfield lorry-scape at King’s Dyke.

Whittlesey should be in special measures. For decades, our unlovely town has been managed by people ill equipped to get the town on their side while failing to notice the swell of disenchantment through its decline.

North East Cambridgeshire is the Conservative fiefdom where allegiance has worn thin particularly by farmers defending their livelihoods but left alone to fight unfair battles with domineering supermarkets.

It’s also home to a marginalised population who long ago gave up on meaningful well-paid jobs with firms prepared to move here and invest but now increasingly want quality to replace impoverishment and are prepared to fight for change.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Road safety campaigner Peter Baxter has lobbied for years to get councillors and highways chiefs alongside to reduce the number of HGVs passing through his hometown of Whittlesey.

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