Mayor Palmer submits £264m A10 bid - fingers crossed this could signal the beginning of the end for nightmare travel between Ely and Cambridge

Mayor James Palmer who has submitted a £264m bid on behalf of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Co

Mayor James Palmer who has submitted a £264m bid on behalf of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to start work on dualling of the A10 between Ely and Cambridge. Picture; RMG - Credit: Archant

Dualling of the 15 mile stretch of the A10 between Ely and Cambridge – which can often take an hour to travel along – now depends on a £264 million bid for Government funding.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA) has applied to the Large Local Majors (LLM) fund that, if successful, could see work begin in five years time.

A separate bid of £37 million has been submitted that would enable junctions such as those at Little Thetford and Stretham to be upgraded.

Mayor James Palmer said: "With future predicted housing and business growth in the Cambridge to Ely corridor, the need for this upgrade couldn't be clearer."

CAPCA's bid comes as permission was given build 6,500 homes, a health centre and schools for a new town at Waterbeach.

Those proposals involve transforming 716 acres of brownfield land that will also see 70 acres set aside for outdoor sports space and 17 acres for allotments and community orchards.

Government guidance on LLM funding suggests that a final decision will take account of the geographical balance of schemes and timescales for delivery.

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A Department of Transport spokesman confirmed that "we are committed to investing in this network of the busiest and most economically important local authority 'A' roads'".

Up to £3.5 billion is being made available by the Government for 2020-25 but what will play in CAPCA's favour is the importance of the route and having a clear path for delivery.

Separately the Greater Cambridge Partnership has been considering its own - and supportive - role in the A10 dualling plans and want a range of transport improvements to ease congestion into Cambridge.

This could include a new park & ride north of Waterbeach and what is termed a "segregated public transport route" to ensure rapid transit into Cambridge. A new rail station for Waterbeach is also on the cards.

Mayor Palmer said dualling of the A10 is a priority scheme within CAPCA's business plan.

He said CAPCA had agreed to a strategic outline business case and work on this would continue regardless of the outcome of the bid to Government.

Mayor Palmer believes there is a momentum for the proposals and CAPCA's work on this was seeing the scheme "moving further forward than is has ever been before".

The A10 bid sits alongside a second bid by CAPCA - for a scheme in Peterborough- and Mayor Palmer said "mow job is to ensure that the "new ministers at the Department for Transport are quite clear as to the importance of these schemes to the people and economy of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

"I will be lobbying hard ahead of an anticipated funding decision this autumn."