OpenStreetMap

Huntingdon, central and Godmanchester (Cambridgeshire)

Posted by davidearl on 23 October 2008 in English (English)

Completed Huntingdon on Tuesday, surveying the central area. Lots of little alleyways with limited signal, but by putting it in promptly I could make sense of the detail from memory as well as the traces. I'm not completely sure about the naming of some of the segments of inner ring road, and there's a suspiciously large hole in the north east corner where I'd better check I didn't miss something when I go back.

As that only took me up to a late lunch, I then made a start on the large village of Godmanchester, the settlement on the other side of the River Ouse from Huntingdon. At about 5,000 people, it'll take another trip, but I got about 30% done when my battery running out prompted me to stop for the day, none too soon.

Huntingdon wasn't at all what I had expected. It's got one of the largest Tory majorities in the country so I was envisaging smartly-presented well-to-do houses with several new cars in every driveway. Yet from appearances it's a poor, working-class town with rather dismal, though not run-down, housing and a lot of heavy industry. The centre has the usual shops, but also an appalling windswept run down pedestrian square with discount shops and eggs-and-chips type cafs. I was shocked by how many people there were in wheelchairs, and noticed that there are two dedicated car parks for people with disabilities - excellent that the authorities are providing for these needs, but sad that the need is there in such high numbers, and why should that be?

It's got a vile inner ring-road cum tracetrack around the town centre, and an even worse outer ring road. Development of the town has filled in right up to the ring road in the north, and the river in the south, so it's got nowhere to go without bursting. Once house building gets going again, I imagine there will be pressures to extend the town into open country beyond the ring road especially to the north east (one big industrial estate already leaked across the ring road on the road towards Alconbury), so I'm sure substantially more mapping will be needed in a decade or two.

Location: Huntingdon, Huntingdon CP (Hunts), Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, East of England, England, PE28, United Kingdom

Comment from eAi on 23 October 2008 at 12:26

It's perhaps best known (to me at least) as the location of Huntington Life Sciences, which all the animal protesters have been campaigning against for years... Sounds like a lovely place!

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Comment from comsomol on 24 October 2008 at 15:28

Ah, but there's a large rich hinterland where the majority are Tory voters...

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