Upgrading of the Guyhirn roundabout on the A47 is among a list of schemes that could be delayed by up to two years it has been revealed today (Friday).
James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has raised concerns about delays to the Highways England A47 Corridor Improvement Programme, which includes the £16 million upgrade to enlarge the Guyhirn roundabout.
In August Highways England published their preferred options for enhancing the A47 which included the dualling of the road between Wansford and Sutton and the enlargement of the Guyhirn roundabout.
At the time Mayor Palmer criticised the timescales involved with the proposed improvements. Due to the need for Highways England to secure a Development Consent Order it was anticipated that works would not begin on the improvements until spring 2020.
It was stated that there would need to be a public inquiry and that it could take the Department for Transport well over one year to make a decision.
However, both improvements to the A47 are now amongst a list of 22 road upgrades that are likely to be delayed by up to two years. Meaning that it could be spring 2022 that works on the dualling of the A47 between Wansford and Sutton and the enlargement of Guyhirn roundabout begin.
Last month, separate to the Highways England A47 programme, a study commenced that is looking to develop a business case for dualling the entirety of the A47 between Peterborough and Wisbech.
The study is being funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and is scheduled to report next spring.
Commenting upon news that the improvements planned by Highways England have been included on a list of schemes that are likely to be subject by delay, Mayor Palmer said: “I’m extremely concerned that both the planned dualling of the A47 between Wansford and Sutton and the planned works at Guyhirn junction are on a list of Highways England schemes that could be delayed by up to two years. I already thought that the timescales published over the summer weren’t ambitious enough. I will be writing urgently to both Highways England and the Department for Transport to seek clarity.
“I find it perplexing that it takes almost four years to deliver a modest upgrade to roundabout. The fact that this delay could mean it takes well over five years is embarrassing. We need to do far better. The A47 is crucial to the economic prosperity of the region and there is a need for us to be more ambitious and to deliver improvements far more quickly.
“Ultimately what is proposed by Highways England is not the answer. The A47 between Peterborough and Wisbech needs to be fully dualled and I’m optimistic that the business case that the Combined Authority commissioned study is currently developing will lead us along this road.”