EU cash could help fund Ely’s proposed southern bypass - MP says

Ely Bypass. Rail bridge visualisation from south.

Ely Bypass. Rail bridge visualisation from south. - Credit: Archant

Ely’s long-awaited southern bypass could be one of five Cambridgeshire projects in line for European Union funding next spring – according to one MP.

North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay, says he is pushing for the £30million bypass to be put forward for EU cash when it is made available next year.

The Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership is expected to pocket £72m of EU cash, which is handed out member states to encourage growth.

Mr Barclay said: “I am determined this area should receive its fair share of the windfall by having bids for the money ready to go when the bidding process opens in the spring.

“The southern bypass scheme will address capacity issues on the A142 Angel Drove and Station Road in Ely.

“A number of constituents from Littleport, Sutton and Little Downham have also lobbied me to state their desire to see this bypass finally built and residents from these areas, as well as those from Mepal and Witcham who drive around Ely will benefit greatly.”

Plans for the bypass have been backed by East Cambridgeshire District Council and are expected to be considered by Cambridgeshire County Council in September.

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Campaigners in favour of the bypass are holding their breath, however, as the wait to see whether Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Government, mulls over whether to call-in the plans – which could result in months worth of delays.

English Heritage has been a vociferous opponent of the plans since the outside, and remain concerned it will impact on views of Ely’s historic cathedral.

Mr Barclay added: “It is important that heritage views are preserved across the area, but the perfect should not be the enemy of the good in terms of blocking the clear wider economic benefits of the bypass.

“And this is a clear case of the social and economic benefits outweighing any other considerations and therefore it is vital a bid for the scheme is ready to go forward when the bidding process begins next year.”

SHOULD EU CASH BE USED TO FUND THE BYPASS? WILL ERIC PICKLES CALL THE DECISION IN? E-mail daniel.mansfield@archant.co.uk or write to Ely Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.

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