Compulsory purchase orders will now be used to break land acquisition deadlock to kick start £17 million Kings Dyke bridge and bypass

Kings Dyke crossing.

Kings Dyke crossing. - Credit: Archant

Compulsory purchase orders are to be used by Cambridgeshire County Council to break the deadlock on land acquisition to begin work on the £17 million Kings Dyke level crossing bridge and bypass at Whittlesey.

A statement from the council today insisted the orders would not stop the next stage which will be putting the work out to tender in March.

A spokesman said: “The Compulsory Purchase Orders necessary to buy the land needed for the scheme are being prepared and these orders will go out soon

“The Orders will advertise the county council’s intentions to buy the land for the statutory notification period.”

The works will remove congestion at the A605 hot spot which is routinely shut by the existing level crossing.

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The bypass will connect to the A605 with roundabouts at Funthams Lane and the brick works access road.

The spokesman said: “Planning permission for the bridge and bypass was granted in spring 2016 and preparations have continued behind the scenes over the last eight months of the year.

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“Officers started on-site in early January to carry out land surveys, ground investigations and negotiations with landowners. The surveys will provide information about soil conditions, which is crucial for construction design.”

A tender inviting companies to bid for the project is planned to go out in March 2017. After a 10 - 12 week period, officers will evaluate the bids and then make an announcement when a contractor is chosen. The successful bidder will work with council officers to draw up detailed engineering designs for the bridge and bypass prior to the start of works.

Officers anticipate that the earliest possible start date for works on site at King’s Dyke will be autumn 2017, subject to CPO objections and Network Rail permissions.

The latest information about the project is available on the County Council website at: .

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, chairman of the economic and environment committee, said: “Anybody who has been stuck at these level crossing gates knows how vital their removal is.

“The problem is made worse when other nearby routes out of Whittlesey are flooded and closed, causing even greater queues and congestion. We have been working hard, with local communities, to bring this scheme to fruition and I look forward to seeing the diggers start.”

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