Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet has fired the starting gun on work to find a solution to severe traffic problems in and around Whittlesey caused by the King’s Dyke level crossing.
The meeting on Tuesday (March 5) instructed officers to start work on developing a jointly funded scheme with Network Rail which could lead to a bridge over the crossing within three years.
Currently around 100 trains a day use the line and this could increase to 244 trains daily – an increase of 150% by 2031. In addition some 11,000 vehicles use the A605 at King’s Dyke daily and long tailbacks build up regularly when the crossing barriers are down.
During winter months the problems caused by the level crossing are made worse when the alternative route to Peterborough via the B1040 is closed because of flooding.
Whittlesey County Councillors Ralph Butcher and Martin Curtis, who is also a Cabinet Member, both campaigned hard for a solution to be found and they welcomed today’s Cabinet decision.
They said: “We are delighted that the County Council has found a solution and today’s decision is the trigger for the work to identify the best way to end the traffic problems caused by this crossing in and around Whittlesey and the surrounding area.
“The delays at this level crossing are having an impact on economic and community growth in Whittlesey and a knock on effect for drivers travelling to an from Peterborough on a daily basis.”
It is anticipated that the cost of the bridge will be in the order of £10-£15m – exact details of the contribution by each party involved with be developed – with the County Council providing up to £10m. Subject to agreement on funding and the detailed design work, it is hoped that the scheme could be complete within three years.