YOU HAVE YOUR SAY: Ely Standard inundated with support for new by pass following lone protest

An artist's impression of how an underpass could look

An artist's impression of how an underpass could look - Credit: Archant

OUR mailbox has been flooded with e-mails supporting plans for Ely’s southern bypass. It comes after an Ely Standard reader criticised a story on the Conservative newsletter Ely Echo, which claimed that funding for the bypass could be blocked by UKIP and unions.

Animation of Ely Southern Bypass proposal.

Animation of Ely Southern Bypass proposal. - Credit: Archant

“I think Ely needs a bypass like it needs another charity shop, estate agency or coffee shop,” said the reader. “Why not spend the money on something for the residents to enjoy, not to make it easier for people – strangers even – to drive by?”

Union members say they are concerned about the council's corporate priorities, such as Ely bypass.

Union members say they are concerned about the council's corporate priorities, such as Ely bypass. - Credit: Archant

The following is just a selection of the messages we received following publication of that letter two weeks ago.

Ely Railway Crossing Bridge

Ely Railway Crossing Bridge - Credit: Archant

AS one of the hitherto silent majority, I would like to express my support for the Ely bypass.

Proposals for the southern bypass

Proposals for the southern bypass - Credit: Archant

Those who are ‘anti’ any particular scheme of whatever nature are always more vociferous than those who are ‘pro’. I suppose that is the complacency of people who think something is likely to happen anyway.

The lorry collides with the underpass at Ely Station

The lorry collides with the underpass at Ely Station - Credit: Archant

However there are, I am sure, many who believe that the bypass will bring great benefits to the region who should perhaps speak up now.

A bypass will make the incessant traffic jams around the station a thing of the past and improve air quality especially in the light of plans to increase the number of trains through Ely.

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I have heard the objections with reference to views of Ely Cathedral but find it difficult to understand how an elevated view can be worse than the view we get from the A142 now.

I wonder if there were objections to the railway passing in front of the cathedral in the 19th century?

I also believe that other proposals which have been put forward may present a temporary solution to the rail crossing problem but that only a bold scheme will solve the issue for the foreseeable future.


OVER the years, Ely has grown tremendously, with people from all over the UK moving here.

The Ely gateway is very small, troublesome and not very inviting.

We need the bypass to improve our lovely city, to embrace newcomers and to save time that is wasted in traffic queues.

Have any of you ever watched an ambulance with its lights flashing blue, wait for the crossing gates to open, eager to get to the call, impatient to go?

I have, I have seen it sit there for up to 20 minutes depending on what time of day it is.

Priority funding - the bypass is a lifesaver.


Old Brewery Close


I SUPPORT the Ely bypass as the only long-term solution to the problem.


High Barns


I WOULD like to register my support for the proposed Ely bypass.

It is a critical piece of infrastructure that properly addresses the problem and the long-term transport needs of Ely and East Cambs.

The delays at the railway crossing can be up to an hour, costing individuals and businesses time and money.

The alternative plan is at best a short-term ‘sticking plaster’ solution. Traffic still needs to negotiate the mini-roundabout at Angel Drove, then the underpass.

The construction of the underpass must allow 40-tonne articulated lorries to turn around the mini-roundabout, under the railway and back up before the river. How steep does the slope need to be to allow this?

Can we guarantee that the biggest lorries can negotiate this successfully?

What if a lorry gets stuck? Breaks down? Even running smoothly, how much traffic can this solution cope with before we have another bottleneck?

Are we just kicking the can down the road? Then what? Back to plan A?

We need to bite the bullet and do what’s needed. And, as funding is available, we should not be dithering.

It needs to be done. Get on with it.


York Road


WE feel that the funding for the Ely Bypass should be a priority to ease the congestion at the railway bridge.




WE are in full support of the Ely bypass due to the growing congestion around the station, Tesco, other shops and businesses.


Millfield Lane


I GIVE my full support for the go-ahead of Ely bypass.

The ludicrous traffic blockage will make that entrance to the city easier and safer and will enable the much-needed upgrade to the station and its immediate area.

We will consider moving from our lovely house if this great plan does not go ahead.




Ely wants a by-pass.

Ely needs a by-pass.

Ely should have a by-pass, now!

Please get behind this campaign.


Beck Road


NOTWITHSTANDING the various objections, I still strongly support the proposal for a bypass and believe that it should be given priority in funding and started as soon as possible.

The present bottleneck is unacceptable and there is no reasonable alternative.

In any properly run country a bypass would have been built years ago.




HAVING been a resident of Ely for some 20 years now, I cannot believe that we are still debating whether the bypass should go ahead or not.

It’s bad enough having HGVs and other large vehicles trundling through our ancient city as it is, let alone the chaos they cause at the current bottleneck that is the underpass and flyover adjacent to Ely station.

Those of you who use this road to get to Soham and further afield regularly will know what I mean.

With funding as difficult as it is to get, surely now is the time to just get on with it.


WE urgently need a bypass at Ely station.

I, with thousands of lorries and cars, sit everyday queuing to travel from Soham to Ely, waiting for the barriers to rise, only to have to do it all again as the traffic tails back to Tesco or down Back Hill.

This cannot be environmentally friendly and costs us all a small fortune in fuel and time.

Please act now. This should be a priority for funding.


Alexander Chase


I LIVE in Ely and commute to work by train to Cambridge every day.

This means having to make my way to the station by foot, bicycle, or by car. In all three cases it is stressful and potentially dangerous.

The whole system seems to rely on everyone being extra cautious and aware of the danger. Clearly, something must be done to relieve the situation.

The options have been carefully studied and debated for years. The vast majority of those that have expressed a view are in favour of the bypass. What more is required to justify the resources required to get it done?

Ely has grown and will continue to grow which will only further aggravate the situation.

We can no longer afford to leave this problem any longer. Do we need to wait until something tragic occurs before making the decision?


Cambridge Road


WE are extremely perturbed to hear that some people in Ely feel that a bypass is not necessary.

The level crossing with its accompanying bridge has been a bottleneck for the last 25 years. During that time it has become progressively worse as both road and rail traffic have increased.

There is no other sensible solution to the problem except to put a bypass in.

To those who feel it would spoil the view of Ely Cathedral I would ask if a view of queuing traffic offers the sort of introduction to Ely they would wish for.


Witcham Toll

THE vociferous minority opposed to the Ely bypass does not reflect the true feeling in the area.

The town urgently needs the construction of the only sensible solution to our traffic problems.

Please try to put a comprehensive summary of people’s thoughts on the matter rather than just one small element.


SOME people have expressed their opposition to Ely having a new southern bypass. Whilst it is possible to criticise certain aspects of the plans, I think they are not looking at the interlinked benefits of the scheme.

It is the only scheme that takes traffic away from Ely. All the other schemes are means of shoehorning more traffic into Ely, with all the noise and pollution that entails.

It is the only scheme that allows the station area to be redeveloped in a more pedestrian/visitor friendly manner.

Ely is a great place to visit, but if you’re a tourist and you’ve just got off a train, it’s not inviting and it’s not obvious how to get to Ely’s attractions.

Deepening the underpass to below the level of the river is going to very disruptive to build and a nightmare to maintain, especially if it requires pumps to keep it drained.

If you look at Ely’s history, grand schemes have played an important part in its development. Look at Riverside, the result of the course of the river being diverted during the Middle Ages to improve access for river traffic.

On a final note, I heard someone say that they supported the bypass until they heard that Tesco supported it, so it must be bad.

This is not the way to evaluate infrastructure projects.


Parade Lane


I AM writing to express my continued support for the Ely bypass.

This is a vital scheme and will improve our city enormously. Nearly everyone I know feels exactly the same way.

It cuts me to the quick to be on the same side as the Conservative councillors on this one, but on this occasion they have got it right.


Upherds Lane


WE are desperate for our bypass as soon as possible.

The bypass should be a priority for funding immediately as the road conditions and air quality worsen in the Angel Drove area.

We need all those huge trucks and cars coming from all over the continent and country to be re-routed away from our tiny city, as they are in many other places in our country.

The railway and trains need to be safe and unobstructed by the traffic and the traffic needs to be safe and uninterrupted by the railway.

What would Ely be like today if the A10 and other bypasses had not been constructed some 20/25 years ago?


Williams Close


I WRITE as someone who regularly uses the A142 for business reasons to say that I am totally supportive of the proposed Ely Bypass project.


Main Street

Little Downham

I FEEL that the bypass is essential for the wellbeing and economic growth not only of Ely but the whole of the district.

It should be a priority for funding, especially as the increase in numbers of freight and passenger trains will cause the crossing gates to be closed for even greater times.


I AM in favour of a bypass which would reduce the congestion and accidents around the station area.



IT is imperative that the Ely bypass goes ahead.

The present situation, with thousands of pounds being lost to waiting times every day, will only get worse with the proposals to put more trains on in the near future.


Lawns Crescent

Little Downham

I WRITE to show my support for the Ely bypass.

I live in Ely and it needs this bypass desperately. It should be a priority for funding.


Darwin Close