One more step along the road we go -Mayor Palmer backs £500,000 spend to unlock the millions that could see A10 dualled from Ely to Cambridge

The A10 between Ely and Cambridge is one of the main priorities of Mayor James Palmer. He hopes it w

The A10 between Ely and Cambridge is one of the main priorities of Mayor James Palmer. He hopes it will be dualled in the not too distant future.. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

The A10 between Ely and Cambridge copes with 18,000 vehicles daily and is bursting at the seams but a decision to spend £500,000 could be a vital part in unlocking anywhere between £285-£500m to get it fully dualled.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA) believe early studies show it is a viable option and now want to set aside half a million pounds to build the next stage of a substantive business case for it.

A new report says the road regularly has constant delays and in its present state is restraining growth.

“The Ely –Cambridge corridor carries the highest level of north-south traffic flows in the county,” says the report.

“These capacity issues along the corridor now adversely affect the quality of life, amenity and opportunities to increase the economic wellbeing of the area.”

Joined up transport is the mantra of CAPCA and fresh studies show how improvements to the A10 will work alongside the Cambridge Autonomous Metro, park and ride and significant junction improvements.

The Ely to Cambridge Corridor is currently affected by congestion and connectivity issues; travel demand should increase further on the Ely to Cambridge corridor, says the report.

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“Significant additional developments are also planned that will exacerbate issues on the corridor, leading to deterioration of economic opportunities, the environment and the wider transport offer,” says the report.

“A joined-up strategy is therefore required that seeks to introduce both demand and supply-side measures along the corridor that cater to all modes and ensure that potential issues are mitigated.”

Included in CAPCA’s report is the proposal that Waterbeach rail station should be enhanced and relocated nearer to the proposed new town north of Waterbeach.

There would also be a form of “segregated rapid-transit corridor” extending from Waterbeach to Cambridge with the upgrade of key junctions such as Milton Interchange.

CAPCA is optimistic that the Government, if it gets a strategic business case fairly quickly for the A10, might select the scheme for the next round of major funding.

CAPCA will be told that if it does nothing it could jeopardise the prospects for up to 17,000 new homes and 14,000 new jobs that could come to East Cambridgeshire as a result.

“Failure to meaningfully intervene in the corridor will result in the constraint of growth in the area and knock-on impacts to the combined authority’s ambitions to 2030,” says the report.

Mayor James Palmer said: “The case is clear. If we want to allow for the significant growth we need to dual the A10 between Cambridge and Ely.

“This is also a crucial part of the combined authority’s ambition to better link our economies - in this case Fenland and Greater Cambridge - and open up opportunities to more people.

“I am confident this business case will put forward a very strong case for investment.”