Councillor hopes to get road downgraded to ‘dramatically improve’ life for residents

Bold yellow signs alerting drivers to the Ely bypass were put up in 2018 thanks to campaigning from county councillor Bill...

Bold yellow signs alerting drivers to the Ely bypass were put up in 2018 thanks to campaigning from county councillor Bill Hunt. He has long campaigned on road safety and traffic issues. Picture; ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Downgrading the A1123 to a ‘B’ road could remove it from Satnavs and make it much safer, says an East Cambs councillor.

Cllr Bill Hunt believes that with the new A14 there is an opportunity to “dramatically improve” the quality of life for local residents.

He is putting a motion to next week’s county council meeting to get the A1123 re-classified.

The A1123 runs between Soham and Hartford near Huntingdon with a small two mile stretch between Haddenham and Witcham Toll which is classified as A1421.

Cllr Hunt says that for many years Wicken, Stretham, Wilburton, Haddenham, Earith, Wyton and Bluntisham have been split in two and impacted by the A1123, as well as St. Ives.

“Vehicles have been hit whilst parked, cyclists injured, houses suffered significant damage and tractors have overturned,” he says.

“Pollution levels are increased by the volume and type of traffic that regularly uses this road as a strategic route.”

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Cllr Hunt says that over the last 15 years speed limits have been introduced and extended, a signage programme has been installed, light controlled crossings have been put in place and Speedwatch has been very active throughout the villages affected by the A1123. These measures, he says, indicate the efforts that have been made to reduce the speed of all traffic and especially Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).

“We believe that now that the A14 is constructed and open we finally have the opportunity to dramatically improve the quality of life for around 10,000+ of our residents,” says his motion.

“Up to now, the A1123 has been colloquially known and used as the ‘A14 bypass’.

“Whenever the A14 experienced increased traffic or congestion a large percentage was diverted, caused either by Sat Nav or local knowledge, and used the A1123.”

Opening of the Ely southern bypass took some pressure off the A1123.

He believes that if A1123 were to be changed to a “B” road, eventually satnavs systems would not suggest vehicles, particularly HGVs, should use the Soham to Huntingdon route.

“Revised signage should indicate the new status and where possible, indicate that the route is not appropriate for the current volume of HGVs,” he says.