Increased funding for long-awaited King's Dyke Level Crossing project approved by Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority - but delays are ahead
PUBLISHED: 14:24 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:24 01 November 2018
Massively increased funding for the long-awaited King's Dyke Level Crossing project has been approved by combined authority bosses - but the project is still facing delays.
Councillors approved additional funding for the long-awaited King’s Dyke Level Crossing project at a meeting yesterday (Wednesday October 31) of Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority (C&PCA).
But the meeting heard there are still a number of issues facing the project.
Chris Twigg, Peterborough City Council’s director of transport was at the meeting to explain the issues facing the project, he said: “While the importance of this project has never been in doubt, it is a complicated and difficult scheme to fund because of all the anomalies in the planning, not the least of which is the fact that the road has a pronounced dip in the middle of it where the railway tracks run”.
Mr Twigg told councillors that it was not possible to give a precise start date, he added: “We’re asking the Combined Authority for an additional £16.4m which may be required as a contingency fund, when the project finally gets under way.
“The additional money is needed because of the high cost of the land purchased – some 13 per cent of the overall budget – consequently, there is only an 80 per cent chance that this project will come in on time or on budget.”
Cllr John Holdich, leader of Peterborough Council argued that the A605 project, while complex is “as important a scheme for Fenland as the A47 dualling for the East-West corridor”.
“Our transport users are having their economy damaged by this route as it currently stands,” he added.
Cllr Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, added: “This route should have been done 20 years ago.
“The crossing tailbacks affect houses along the road for several miles, and residents cannot get out of their drives at peak times when the queues of traffic are at their worst. This project must be delivered, and now.”
The King’s Dyke Level Crossing Scheme is badly needed as the route passes through an economically important part of the county, with plans for 1000 new homes, but at peak times there are as many as 120 train movements per day, and traffic can wait for as many as two to three closures before getting across.