Study on dualling of A47 across Eastern region is give go-ahead by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
Approval is given to the A47 dualling study recognising the strategic importance of the East-West Corridor for future economic prosperity.
Mayor James Palmer, and members of the Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority (C&PCA) approved a study looking at the dualling of the A47 through the region.
The study has looked at plans which would eventually provide an East-West Transport Corridor through the region boosting housing, business and jobs creation.
The meeting also approved £1m funding for additional work which includes £200k for contingency studies and £800k to get the project to its next stage.
Councillors praised work that has already been done, and gave their full support to the plans to fully dual the A47 which is part of the authority’s ‘2030 Vision’ for the region.
Highways England is already committed to the dualling of the stretch of the A47 between Wansford and Sutton, and the increased capacity of the Guyhirn roundabout.
A public consultation on the route the A47 will take on the Wansford to Sutton stretch that has already been approved will report back by November 12.
Funding for a project of this magnitude will come from a number of sources, and contribution from the combined authority to the development stage of up to £30m to be spent over the period 2019 to 2025, is already earmarked.
If Highways England gives the go-ahead to the entire project, then groundbreaking could begin as early as February 2019.
Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, supported the scheme, but did question the level of improvement already planned at Guyhirn: “Do we really need to over-engineer this roundabout giving it capacity expected in the year 2050, when the rest of the project is aiming at a 2030 vision?”.
Councillor David Seaton, said: “I recommend that there be no more houses built on the A47 corridor until all the dualling is completed and the railway infrastructure has been put in place. The A47 is already one of the most dangerous roads in the country in certain places as the number of crashes we read about in the newspaper every week highlights”.
Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council said: “Anybody who has travelled the A47 will tell you the road at the moment is of a variable standard, with dual carriageway in small sections, as well as single carriageways between Peterborough and Thorney Bypass to Walton. Other single carriageway black spots include the stretch of the A47 between Wansford and Sutton to the bottleneck that is the Guyhirn roundabout”.
The A47 links the A1 at Peterborough with Wisbech, Kings Lynn and the Norwich coast at Great Yarmouth. The study approved yesterday (Wednesday) shows the dualling of this entire route would provide a vital transport link across the country, complimenting the existing projects to extend the M11 to the A47 and the development of 10,000 homes (phase one) for the new Garden Town at Wisbech, bringing economic growth to Peterborough and Cambridge in terms of business and jobs.