£30million Ely southern bypass - expected to open in 2017- gets major boost as Government steps in with cash to help build it

Mark Reeve, chairman of the GCGP LEP and managing director of Chalcroft (Construction) with Neil Dar

Mark Reeve, chairman of the GCGP LEP and managing director of Chalcroft (Construction) with Neil Darwin, interim chief executive of LEP. They are pictured at Ely bridge. - Credit: Archant

An £8million Government grant to help towards building Ely’s £30million southern by pass – pulled last summer- looks to have been restored.

The money will come via the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) who announced today an extra £38million is now on its way to the region.

Neither the county council nor the partnership would confirm if the full £8million was included but the new grant has been welcomed by MPs Sir Jim Paice and Steve Barclay and council leaders.

Last July Graham Hughes, the county council executive director for economy, transport and environment said their 2014 application “was in our top priority list but unfortunately we have got nothing.”

However uncertainty over whether the Secretary of State Eric Pickles might delay the bypass later ended and the project later got the final seal of approval. The latest cash injection will mean the county council will be relieved of having to borrow the shortfall had the LEP not been awarded the new funding.

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Sir Jim said: “I can retire happy now that our efforts to secure a bypass have succeeded. We have planning consent and most of the money so let’s get on with it.”

Mr Barclay said a bypass for Ely is long overdue “and will help residents especially those in places like Little Downham and Littleport as it will cut congestion”.

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Councillor Edward Cearns, vice chairman of the economy and environment committee, said: “Our focus is on issuing a tender to appoint the contractor who will be building the bypass but we will also starting preparation works onsite in the spring. “If all goes to timetable the first vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists should be using the new road and viaduct by late 2017.”

Mark Reeve, chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, said that as well as the bypass, the £38million would assist an upgrade to junction 8 of the M11 at Stansted and other infrastructure projects.

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