Town council asked to stump up cash to pave the way for relief road
- Credit: Archant
A town council is to be asked to put some money on the table to trigger funding for a multi-million-pound bypass.
The idea is being put forward by Cllr Chris Boden, a county councillor and district council leader but also a member of Whittlesey Town Council.
And it is to the town council he is turning for funding for a first stage report.
It would signal the beginning of a process that could culminate in the project being taken over the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authroity.
Cllr Boden said: “Everyone in Whittlesey knows that the town needs a proper relief road, both to reduce congestion and to remove heavy goods vehicles from the A605 through the town.”
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He said that with the Kings Dyke crossing well under way – and due for completion in 2022 – it is a good time to start the formal process “of getting a proper relief road for the town”.
Various reports in recent years have suggested a new relief road from Coates to the Morrisons / Cardea roundabout.
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This would enable HGVs to access industrial sites from the east rather than adding to the congestion of residential routes, particularly along Inhams Road and Station Road.
Cllr Boden’s idea stems from release of the Fenland Local Plan six years ago that proposed Whittlesey should have a further 11,000 homes by 2031.
It regarded a relief road as vital and suggested a12km route south of south of the A605.
Cllr Boden said If the report is positive, he will ask the Combined Authority to take the project over and to proceed with a strategic outline business case, which is the next step in the major infrastructure development cycle.
“As this is a first stage report, both the viability of a northern route for the relief road and the viability of a southern route for the relief road must be explored,” he said.
“Although a northern relief road, at 6km, would be only half the length of a southern relief road (12km), a southern relief road at first sight appears to be a better bet because it would avoid the Whittlesey Washes and because it would better serve the Whittlesey industrial estate.”
Cllr Boden added: “I don’t want to raise hopes unrealistically - if we do get a relief road it will take quite a few years before it’s constructed.
“But this report, if funding is approved by the town council, will give hope to all residents and businesses in Whittlesey that the impending A605 capacity issue can be addressed and that most large goods vehicles will eventually be diverted away from the existing A605 route through Whittlesey, Eastrea and Coates”