Could Ely by pass benefit from EU funding? That could happen if MP’s bid for ‘fair share’ of cash wins the day

PUBLISHED: 10:31 30 July 2014

Ely Bypass. A new walkway and pedestrian route

Ely Bypass. A new walkway and pedestrian route

Archant

Ely’s southern by-pass could be one of five local projects in-line for EU funding next spring.

MP Steve Barclay is pushing for the scheme, which already has the backing of East Cambs District Council, to be put forward for EU cash when it is made available next year.

The Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership is expected to receive around £72 million from the European Structural and Investment Funds, which is designed to improve economic growth and social well-being across Member States.

And Mr Barclay, MP for North East Cambs is determined this area should receive its fair share of the windfall by having bids for the money ready to go when the bidding process opens in the spring.

The southern by-pass scheme will address capacity issues on the A142 Angel Drove and Station Road in Ely.

“A number of constituents from Littleport, Sutton and Little Downham have also lobbied me to state their desire to see this bypass finally built,” said the MP.

“Residents from these areas, as well as those from Mepal and Witcham who drive around Ely will benefit greatly.

The new bypass will reduce congestion and delays at the level crossing and remove a significant amount of traffic from the station area, as many as 800 vehicles per peak hour and 7,000 vehicles per 12 hour day.

English Heritage have objected to the scheme, which is due to go before Cambridgeshire County Council for planning permission in the next few months, as they are concerned it will impact on views of Ely’s historic cathedral.

Mr Barclay said: “It is important that heritage views are preserved across the area, but the perfect should not be the enemy of the good in terms of blocking the clear wider economic benefits of the bypass.

“And this is a clear case of the social and economic benefits outweighing any other considerations and therefore it is vital a bid for the scheme is ready to go forward when the bidding process begins next year.”

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