Masterplan Is Fixed On One Solution
PUBLISHED: 11:28 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 04 May 2010
My problem with The Masterplan is that it treats Ely as though its future can be solved in isolation. Indeed, some parts of the plan involved with better leisure facilities, green spaces, riverside access can be dealt with by local action and cannot be ar
My problem with The Masterplan is that it treats Ely as though its future can be solved in isolation. Indeed, some parts of the plan involved with better leisure facilities, green spaces, riverside access can be dealt with by local action and cannot be argued with.
Much of the grand plans for the development of 5000 more houses, shops and jobs come down to the assumption that the Ely Southern Bypass will be built. This has twice been refused government funding and the projected cost has jumped from a figure of £16m to £27m in what seems a remarkably short time.
As a resident of the village of Stuntney, I see at first-hand the volume of traffic, much of it HGVs, that use the A142. It is often difficult to get onto the A142 from our village road when heading in the direction of Soham.
I would ask this question. Has there ever been a survey carried out to establish where all this heavy transport is coming from and where it is going? I suggest that the answer is that much of it has come from, or is going to Felixstowe docks and is heading to or from the midlands or the north. Drivers will choose the route that gives them the quickest times and least hassle. That means avoiding the notorious A14 and its long delays not infrequently caused by accidents.
Now what will be the effect of the Southern Bypass if it ever comes? It will do away with the railway crossing hold-ups and therefore make the A142 more attractive to HGV drivers, result - more HGVs using the outskirts of Ely as a through route. I dread to think of how this will affect the A142 traffic with its many slow moving farm vehicles, and what about the hold-ups at the roundabouts on Angel Drove.
We are just a small part of massive traffic congestion problems affecting much of the country's main routes, where traffic volumes have grown much faster than road improvements. Opportunities to shift long distance movement of goods from road to rail have been missed in the past. The Masterplan seems to assume that the Ely Southern Bypass is the answer to our problems but to the government it is a low priority.
Instead of being fixed on this very uncertain project which will bring still more traffic our way why not push for A14 improvements. Or, has anyone at county level considered a Wicken bypass that would take traffic straight onto the A10 missing Ely altogether? No new river bridges and only infrequent rail crossing hold-ups. Perhaps this is a too radical suggestion for minds that seem fixed on one solution?
Ellwood Soham Road