Work on Kings Dyke level crossing delayed yet again until 2022
- Credit: Archant
Proposed work on the A605 Kings Dyke level crossing closure has been put back yet again, this time until at least the end of 2022.
Speaking at a meeting of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA), Brian Stewart, project manager, told the Board: "At its meeting on 31 October 2018, the CPCA Board approved increased funding of £16.4m and the continuation of the delivery of the A605 Kings Dyke level crossing closure with a timeline for completion of late 2020.
"After Kier terminated their contract for the project, they commenced a future procurement exercise through the Office of the European Union Notice. That exercise is now underway, and we are due responses from that fairly shortly.
"However, one of the key needs for confidence going forward is a change to the expected completion date of the A605 Kings Dyke level crossing closure from the end of 2020, to late 2022.
"This will allow for the formalisation of funding agreements that are vital to give confidence to any future procurement tenders.
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"The county council needs to be able to demonstrate to those bidding for the construction work that the funding is in place, without which the procurement exercise would be severely prejudiced.
"This requires a funding agreement between the combined authority and the county council, which includes the revised timeline for completion of the scheme.
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"Today we are asking for the Board's agreement to the revised timeline which is necessary for that funding agreement to be completed.
"Any difficulties in letting these contracts would risk extending the completion date even further, prolonging the agonies being experienced by those using the existing Kings Dyke level crossing."
Currently, residents travelling to and from Peterborough get held up frequently at Kings Dyke level crossing which has infuriated motorists.
Lengthy closures of nearby roads due to flooding have increased the gridlock at Kings Dyke, and this has not been helped with temporary traffic lights at nearby roadworks limiting traffic flow.
Forthcoming works to add in a right-hand turning off the A605 towards the B1095 will only add to the traffic, as will future house building in Whittlesey.
Cambridgeshire County Council is re-tendering a contract to build a bridge over the level crossing after Kier's costs for the project soared from an original budget of £13.6 million to nearly £39 million. The project is now many years behind schedule.
Cllr John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: "We need to get this done as soon as possible because there is no doubt that these hold-ups are affecting the economy of the city of Peterborough and making the lives of those who use this crossing a complete misery.
"We should've had this done a long time ago, but we now find ourselves in the embarrassing position of having - once again - to extend the completion date of the A605 Kings Dyke level crossing closure from the end of 2020, to late 2022.
"I know that this will come as a huge disappointment to all those who use the crossing, to the people in the city of Peterborough and to those who live and work in Whittlesey.
"But if this is the only sure way that we can achieve our aims to improve this stretch of road, then I support it and urge my fellow Board members to do likewise."
Members of the CPCA Board approved the revised timeline necessary for the funding agreement to be completed.
If a contractor can be found, it is hoped that commencement of the work could begin in December 2020, with completion at the end of 2022.