Southern Bypass For Ely Is Denied Funding Once More
PUBLISHED: 15:50 17 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010
A SOUTHERN bypass for Ely has once again been denied funding by Government officials. More than £1billion in transport improvements was up for grabs, but the Ely-Stuntney scheme was thrown out because it considers more localised transport issues . Nor
A SOUTHERN bypass for Ely has once again been denied funding by Government officials.
More than £1billion in transport improvements was up for grabs, but the Ely-Stuntney scheme was thrown out because it "considers more localised transport issues".
North Cambridge is to have its own train station and guided bus extension at a cost of £22.6million, but the East of England Regional Assembly said the Ely bypass, which would have joined the A10 with Stuntney, did not fit with "regional policy aspirations".
Planned increases to the amount of freight traffic heading through Ely during the next 10 years is likely to cause such a backlog at Ely rail crossing, that the barriers may be closed for almost an hour, every hour, backing traffic even further up the A142.
Updates have been made to the Felixstowe to Nuneaton line, which passes through Ely, so that larger containers can be carried on the rail network, taking the load off roads - but the increase in rail traffic will have a knock-on effect on heavy goods vehicles which are too high to pass under the rail bridge.
Cllr Peter Moakes, who has championed the Southern bypass as part of the Ely Masterplan, said he was hopeful funding for the £16 million road could be found from elsewhere.
"We have understood for some time that it wasn't as high on other people's list of priorities as it was ours," said Cllr Moakes. "But we are aware that some of the counting is a bit obscure. The southern bypass brings benefits to the whole of East Anglia and would free up our network for road users locally. It doesn't change anything - all it tells me is we have some serious work to do. As far as I'm concerned we carry on and make all the plans as if the bypass was going to happen and we will have to find other ways of funding it."
David Archer, head of planning and development at ECDC, said the bypass project would need 10-15 years to get off the ground - but the A142 would be inaccessible to HGV traffic in 11 years' time. "Those two statements are incompatible, so we have to find a way forward urgently," added Cllr Moakes.
Liberal Democrat leader Gareth Wilson said his party were not surprised at the move.
"We now need to have a serious look at cheaper alternatives to the southern bypass," he urged.
Cllr Wilson has proposed a short-term "lorry stacking system" to alleviate build-up of traffic at Ely railway crossing.
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