Cash will kick-start transformation of March Broad Street
Steps to revamp March Broad Street making it safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists to use are set to take a major move forward on Wednesday (30).
The ambitious plans to both change the lay-out of Broad Street through the March Area Transport Study (MATS) and to transform parts of March High Street through the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF), have previously been described as a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform March town centre.
They include removing the traffic lights at the top of Broad Street and replacing them with a mini-roundabout. The road layout will be changed to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists with Broad Street becoming a single lane in each direction.
Next week the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority is expected to approve nearly £600,000 of funding to help kickstart the projects into becoming a reality.
The Combined Authority's cash will be used to prepare the MATS project for construction including statutory work on utilities, preparation of tender documents and procurement.
When they meet on Wednesday (30th March), members of the Combined Authority Board will be asked to re-purpose £586,205 of Future High Street Fund money to kick off the initial phases of the March Area Transport Study – MATS - Broad Street construction.
Board members will also be recommended to approve the draw-down of £3,780,387 for the whole construction of the MATS’ Broad Street scheme, subject to the independent evaluation, sign off and approval the Combined Authority Board of the full business case.
To help move things forward at pace, the Board will be asked to authorise Combined Authority officers to organise funding agreements with Cambridgeshire County Council, delivery partners for the MATS project.
If given, the Board’s approval will mean the next stages can begin, moving the project a step closer to construction in alignment with the Future High Street Fund project.
Cambridgeshire Mayor Dr Nik Johnson, said: “The Combined Authority is massively committed to helping market towns like March develop greener and more people-friendly transport links that really serve the community, improving public areas, and giving space for walking and cycling.
“The Combined Authority has also funded the revamp of March’s historic railway station, along with regeneration of other Fenland railway services. Fenland, and its market towns like March, Wisbech and Chatteris, are top of the Combined Authority agenda for helping bring forward areas that have lost out on investment in the past.”
Board approval of the £3,780,387 will depend on the full business case receiving independent evaluation and being signed off under assurance. This is scheduled for December 2022. Following assurance, £586,205 of the funds will be re-purposed back to the CPCA Future High Street Fund budget.
These proposals were considered by the Transport and infrastructure committee on March 14 when members unanimously agreed to recommend the proposals to the Combined Authority Board for approval.