Work on Ely underpass to start in November - as it is revealed that the accident-prone bridge has been hit 32 times in 12 months

PUBLISHED: 17:34 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:34 24 October 2018

It was struck 32 times in the past year but the Stuntney Road rail bridge at Ely should soon lose its 'championship' title. Work starts on traffic lights next week once the bypass opens. Ppicture: ARCHANT

It was struck 32 times in the past year but the Stuntney Road rail bridge at Ely should soon lose its 'championship' title. Work starts on traffic lights next week once the bypass opens. Ppicture: ARCHANT

Archant

Ely underpass will close next week - a day after the new bypass opens - so that work can start on the next phase of the major project.

The 12-week closure from Thursday November 1 will encourage drivers to use the new road and allow for work to begin on improving access for pedestrians and cyclists in the area.

It comes as figures released by Network Rail revealed that the accident-prone Stuntney Road bridge has been hit 32 times in the last 12 months.

The bypass will open on October 31 in the afternoon, but to minimise disruption during the evening rush hour, the underpass will be closed from 11am on Thursday November 1.

By building a new bypass, the need for heavy goods vehicles to use the railway level crossing will be removed so that they can avoid the bridge.

Key features of the improved underpass scheme include the introduction of traffic lights at either side of the underpass to create space for a new shared use footway/cycleway, a new one-way cycle lane from Angel Square roundabout, and the existing pedestrian crossing will be upgraded allowing people to cross both carriageways at once.

The existing bus stops will also be re-located to Angel Drove as the new bus route avoids using Station Road when the level crossing is closed.

Improved signage for the low bridge will be installed in new locations to provide more advance warning.

Cllr Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Building a new bypass doesn’t just improve lives for car and lorry drivers.

“The new underpass facilities being carried out will benefit both pedestrians and cyclists with a new shared use path.

“We anticipate that by improving these facilities we are encouraging more people to walk or cycle into the city and it will reduce the number of cars.

“We are starting the underpass work at the same time as the bypass opens so that people can get into the habit of using the new road straight away. By closing the underpass 24/7 we also ensure our contractor can carry out the work as quickly and safely as possible.”

The new road is set to provide a huge boost for the area and will ease congestion in and around Ely by providing a new link between Stuntney Causeway and Angel Drove.

More details about the underpass scheme are available on www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/ely-bypass

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