Monday, July 16, 2012
Rail plan's threat to a green oasis by the Ely Ouse
There'll be even more trains in a few years' time. Ely North Junction, the other side of Roswell Pits, is being upgraded as part of the government's plans to invest £9bn on long-needed improvements to our railways, announced in a fanfare of photocalls today.
But the racket from the crossing might be silenced too. For part of the bigger plan for the area is a new southern by-pass for Ely, which would give lorries and other vehicles too high to use a nearby underpass another route in and out of the city.
Regardless of its ups and downs as a pike fishery, the river upstream of Ely contrasts sharply with the stretch which winds through the city.
The wildlife and the views of the cathedral from the Stuntney Causeway won't be enough to put the brakes on things, when Cambridgeshire County Council meets to decide the by-pass scheme in September.
A mile or two of reed-lined river flanked by meadows won't stand in the way of progress. But the character of another wild, magical place will have gone forever when the sirens on the level crossing eventually go silent.
posted at 19:41