County council ready to give its backing to full dualling of the A10 - lesser options simply are not enough

Congestion on the A10 Ely to Cambridge

Congestion on the A10 Ely to Cambridge - Credit: Archant

The county council is ready to put its weight behind dualling of the A10 between Ely and the Milton interchange.

The economy and environment committee will be asked on Thursday to agree to recommend the option to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority “for approval and further development”.

Graham Hughes, executive director place and economy, will tell the committee that the county council believes full dualling of the entire stretch would be best for Cambridgeshire.

A comprehensive package of proposals embracing full dualling is likely to be upwards of £500 million says Mr Hughes “to accommodate the development aspirations in the area”.

By agreeing to press on with its case, Mr Hughes says it will allow the impact of dualling the full length of the A10 to be fully understood and considered alongside an alternative route that potentially forms the southern section of an M11-A47 link.

The county council is expected to consult on proposals this summer.

His report rules includes lesser options that could have seen improvements to the interchange only or dualling parts of the A10.

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East Cambs councillor Bill Hunt has welcomed the support.

“The A10 dualling will have a massive effect on my division as the A10 runs through Soham South and Haddenham for about six miles (Chittering north to just south of Ely).,”he said.

Cllr Hunt said Ely was expanding as are the villages that feed into the A10 (Wicken, Little Thetford, Stretham, Haddenham, Soham and Wilburton).

“If Cambridge is to continue to expand then this is one key bit of infrastructure that is 100 per cent essential,” said Cllr Hunt.

Mr Hughes says the recommendation forms part of the Ely-Cambridge transport study that has considered housing growth, commuter travelling time, park and ride, car sharing, and business expansion.

He said that a package of non-highway measures does not go far enough “and as such significant investment in highway capacity will be required”.

But he warned that it was necessary to encourage a mode shift away from car usage and this will include better public transport between Waterbeach and Cambridge, the relocation of Waterbeach station, investment in cycling and walking, and a new park and ride facility.

On key employment sites such as the science park and new housing developments there will need to be a policy of “radical parking restraint complemented by investment in public transport, cycling and walking”.

There will also need to be smaller scale measures to discourage ‘rat running’ on minor roads parallel to the A10.