County council provides light relief to A142 improvements after listening to public opinion
PUBLISHED: 12:29 03 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:29 03 November 2020
Public opinion has shaped changes to improvements to the Lancaster Way roundabout at Ely that will delay works by two months but provide a signalised crossing of the A142.
It will be at the eastern arm of the roundabout and highways officials believe this be welcomed by those who objected to the overall scheme on safety grounds.
The additional cost of £100,000 will come from savings made on the already delivered A10/A142 BP roundabout says a report to county councillors.
The scheme will take the overall budget allocated for the works to £860,000 and is to be paid for by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and East Cambridgeshire District Council.
Work had due to begin in January but because of the addition of a signalised crossing the design will need revising and so it will be March before work can get under way.
The county council highways and transport committee are expected to rubber stamp the changes on Tuesday.
The council says expansion of the Lancaster Way Business Park is expected to create over 2,500 jobs with 75 per cent of these roles expected to be filled by people living locally.
A consultation on the changes including two lane entry to the roundabout from Witchford Road, the Witchford bypass and the park as well as new footway space closed in September.
The council says that following feedback from the consultation, which raised concerns about pedestrian and cycling access to the park, and considering the latest active travel guidance from government, the signal-controlled crossing had been added.
Committee chairperson Ian Bates said: “Congestion and delays are a well-known issue on and around the A10 and the A142.”
He said the scheme was “critical to unlocking additional benefits due to the business park expansion”.
Ely county councillor Anna Bailey said: “We’ve listened to the comments from local people.
“This scheme is only a medium-term fix. The combined authority has committed to put in significant investment into their A10 transport project which investigates segregated routes separating cyclists and pedestrians from drivers.
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“The combined authority will be reviewing ideas for major infrastructure including bridges and underpasses as part of a large-scale review of this important road.”
The report to councillors explains that the design identified that by increasing the approach lanes from one to two lanes, “the capacity on the roundabout itself could be increased and therefore see traffic move through the junction more efficiently”.
The changes include widening of the road to accommodate two lane entries on the A142 Witchford Road arm of the roundabout.
On Lancaster Way, the two-lane approach is extended further into the business park.
Widening the road will accommodate two lane entries on the A142 Witchford Bypass approach.
In total 200 individuals and 12 stakeholders responded to the consultation. Of the individuals who responded, over half opposed the proposals.
A quarter of respondents supported them, whilst 16 per cent were neutral about them.
“At a local level, just under half of respondents who were located with the ‘CB6’ area indicated they were opposed to the proposals,” says the report.
“Just over a third of these respondents supported the proposals (34 per cent) whilst 17 per cent neither supported nor opposed the proposals.”
Some of those who responded felt the proposals would have a negative impact on cycling.
Others felt that improvements to cycling and walking would benefit the business park.
The council will also hear that some felt that the design failed to comply with Department of Transport guidance.
The council will be told that some of those taking part in the survey felt that the proposals were no longer needed and that travel habits had changed, due to the pandemic, and that the costs were not necessary.
“Of all the comments received, the theme of impacting on non-motorised users was the strongest,” says the report.
“The comments stating that the proposals are not improving provision for other users cannot be ignored, especially where the comments received indicate that the situation for non-motorised users would be made worse.”
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