Improvements to Guyhirn roundabout must be 'future proofed' say councillors
Local councillors have made urgent representations to ensure any work to upgrade Guyhirn roundabout are "future proofed" ready for the potential dualling of the A47.
In his latest blog Cambridgeshire County Council leader Councillor Steve Count gave an update of the delayed project and said it is hoped work could begin by March next year at the latest.
Highways England are responsible for delivering the upgrade, which is needed to help improve traffic flow at the bottle-neck roundabout. However it is already more than two years behind schedule after work was postponed in 2017 because of a change of contractor and the need to remain within budget on the multi-million pound scheme.
Coun Count said Highways England have now informed him a new contractor has been brought in and work is being carried out to get the project delivered, with a construction start date of March 2021.
But Coun Count said: "Although March 2021 is the start date, Highways England are confident that construction could begin before this, and they expect construction of the roundabout to take a year, with a design life up until 20131."
There are two options for the essential upgrade the first would be a three-lane roundabout, which would mean merging into one lane at the exits of the roundabout and Coun said: "My fellow councillors and I have raised safety concerns about this option."
The second option, which Coun Count said is the preferred scheme, would be for a two lane roundabout.
However, Coun Count said: I have made urgent representations to Highways England about the scheme, as have my fellow local councillors, as we believe there has been no consideration of future proofing the design to take account of the potential dualling of the A47. Highways England have agreed to look at this."
Coun Count also said the two-year delay in starting work will not impact on the campaign for dualling the A47 in the next round of government funding.
He also said there have been several environment constraints which had to be assessed before any ground investigation work could be commissioned. The environmental surveys have now been successful and the ground investigation work is due to be completed by October, subject to licensing.
Both the options identified for the scheme by Highways England will need to see land purchased from the Environment Agency and negotiations on the sale of the land are on-going.
More information about the work can be found on the Highways England webpage - https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a47-guyhirn-junction/
More by this authorSarah Cliss