Plans For Sothern Bypass Still On Track Says Council Leader

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:16 04 May 2010

East Cambs District Council leader Fred Brown

East Cambs District Council leader Fred Brown

CLAIMS that plans for a southern bypass in Ely have been dealt a fatal blow following the announcement of Government spending cuts have been vigorously denied by the district council. Liberal Democrat councillors claim that Central Government plans to wit

CLAIMS that plans for a southern bypass in Ely have been dealt a fatal blow following the announcement of Government spending cuts have been vigorously denied by the district council.

Liberal Democrat councillors claim that Central Government plans to withdraw a transport cash injection into the county could prove "a nail in the coffin" for the scheme but the local authority has fired back at the claims accusing the Lib Dems of being outdated.

East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) has repeatedly highlighted the need to explore the possibility of southern bypass for the city to help cope with predicted increases in road and rail traffic in the coming years.

Liberal Democrat councillors have said, however, that a £300 million pot of Government money earmarked for transport projects across the county has been cut and therefore rendered the council's plans dead in the water.

Councillor Ian Allen, party transport spokesman said: "The Tories were hoping that the spin off from TIF (Transport Innovation Fund) would be money for the Southern Bypass. This decision is a crushing blow to those hopes.

"How many times does the Government have to tell us that the Southern Bypass is a non-starter? Without money for transport improvements, Ely cannot sustain another 5,000 homes. It is time to accept that the Masterplan is a fool's errand."

Councillor Peter Moakes hit back at the claims: "As always our local opposition don't let the facts get in the way of a story, he said.

"The Transport Innovation Fund is not the only source of funding available as we look to solve the very real problem of congestion in the South of Ely - there are others which we have identified.

"By consistently attacking options for a Southern Link Road, I sometimes wonder if the Liberal Democrats would like Ely to return to the dark ages where the city could only be accessed by the river.

"Their refusal to acknowledge the need for growth in Ely and East Cambridgeshire and the constant attempts to rubbish the Masterplan process all smack of a party which is happy for our district to stagnate and fall behind our peers."

* The Southern Bypass will link up the A10 with the A142 road to Soham.

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