Having recently acquired a large number of past parish magazines, I thought I would look at what was happening in Harston 25 years ago.
The first edition of 1993 was delivered free to all households in Harston & Hauxton for the first time – previously it cost 25p. In it the Parish Council reported that work was about to start on the new conservation area and pavilion. They had also undertaken a village walk around and assured villagers that any areas of concern about roads, kerbs & verges had been noted. Also a Local Housing Needs survey form was to be circulated to all households. But the major news – or none news – was that the decision on the Harston by-pass was still awaited
The June-July edition celebrated the Armstrongs 40 years in Harston House and Richard Howells ordination as Deacon. It was also 19 years since the first Lunch Club – which could do with more help especially cooks – nothing changes then!! The major topic was the proposal by Lancaster Motors to demolish 148 High Street to provide a larger site to sell cars. At an open meeting in the village hall the overwhelming decision was that the plans submitted ‘should be opposed and no further alterations or extensions should be tolerated.’ Every parishioner was encouraged to write to South Cambs. The decision on the by-pass was ‘imminent’.
In August-September the Parish Council reported that they had written to ComputerVision in Harston mill about the total closure of the walkway to the river & mill pond which many had enjoyed for a very long time. South Cambs had refused the Lancaster Motors proposal but they were expected to appeal. No news on the by-pass but traffic calming measures were proposed.
Little seemed to have happened in October-November but in December it was reported that there would be a Public Inquiry into the Lancaster Motors proposal. We are all aware of the result. Still no news on the by-pass.
The by-pass decision wasn’t made until May 1994 when Transport Minister Robert Key said he could not support it, meaning the proposal would not even reach the discussion or planning stage. He said the main reason was that the by-pass does not fit in with other strategic developments of the road system. Highways Agency stated that financial constraints prevented it being considered as, even if it was added to the Roads Programme, it would not have the priority to attract resources. Also the time was not right to ‘detrunk’ the A10.
In July 1994 two parish councillors met the Minister to press Harston’s case. He said he knew the location as it had been part of his journey to college, understood the concerns and agreed the forecast increased traffic would cause congestion around Harston which would be relieved by a by-pass. He agreed a by-pass was the ultimate solution and further said that if he ‘had the money, Harston would have its by-pass’. He also recommended that the campaign for the by-pass should continue.