Ely Southern Bypass walkway opens in time to beat the blues on Wednesday January 23

Ely Southern Bypass walkway opened in time to beat the January blues on Wednesday 23. Picture: CAMB

Ely Southern Bypass walkway opened in time to beat the January blues on Wednesday 23. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL. - Credit: Archant

Ely Southern Bypass walkway will be open in time to beat the blues on Wednesday (January 23).

The new bypass opened to traffic at the end of last year and, since then, Cambridgeshire County Council contractors VolkerFitzpatrick have been continuing to work on the walkway.

The separate walkway linking Fen Rivers Way and Ouse Valley Way footpaths will provide a new walking route with views of Ely and the cathedral from the Fen.

Cllr Ian Bates, chairman of the economy and environment committee, said: “I am delighted that the final piece of the jigsaw to Ely’s new bypass is complete and people can start to enjoy those nice New Year walks.

“Ely Southern Bypass opened to traffic in October and has been a huge success, solving long-standing traffic problems and reducing journey times for drivers.

“The opening of the walkway will benefit many residents and visitors in Ely.

“The public can admire views of Ely Cathedral and the surrounding landscape from an exceptional structure that links existing public rights of way along the east and west flood bunds of the River Ouse.”

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Mayor James Palmer said: “The exceptional design of this bypass means that any fears there may have been over the impact on the setting of Ely Cathedral within its unique landscape I think were overstated.

“In fact what we now have is a walkway that offers stunning views of one the jewels in Cambridgeshire’s crown, which can now be enjoyed and experienced by more people.”

In total, around 252 tonnes of steel and 25 tonnes of sustainable timber have been used for the walkway. It also features a stainless steel handrail that is 380m in length.

Ely Southern Bypass is a 1.7km single carriageway with a viaduct crossing the Great Ouse and a bridge over two railway lines. It connects the A142 at Angel Drove to Stuntney Causeway.

The underpass work, to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists, continues and will be finished by the end of February.

There has been a delay with the work due to issues with unexpected utility pipes under the road, drainage complications and the manufacture of the over-height vehicle detection signs which, until installed, the underpass cannot safely open.