Could motorway be coming to Fenland?

Cambridgeshire Mayoral election count at Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham, James Palmer acceptance speech . Picture: Keith Heppell

A feasibility study is set to be carried out on plans which could, if implemented, extend the M11 into Fenland.

More than £1 million has been put aside to look at the possibility of lengthening the route from its current northern end near Cambridge to meet the A47 around Wisbech and Guyhirn.

The scheme is one of several for the area that have been given financial backing by the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority.

The list includes more than £6 million allocated for further research of the Wisbech Garden Town proposals for up to 12,000 new homes and the infrastructure needs associated with them.

And Fenland district council leader John Clark said: “The deal to devolve central government spending to local areas has started to produce real cash investment that should hopefully lead to tangible outcomes for Fenland and its residents.

“This vital support means numerous projects can now progress to the next stage and bring them a step closer to making a huge difference to our area.”

The combined authority has set aside £1.25 million for its work on the M11, plus a further £500,000 for the preparation of a business case in support of further dualling of the A47 itself.

Charles Roberts, the authority’s portfolio holder for transport, said: “Devolution has given us the power to consider bold and innovative solutions to overcome long-standing infrastructure needs and we will work hard to ensure that the most effective solutions are thoroughly investigated to ensure they can be delivered.”

During a meeting last Wednesday, the authority also approved the submission of funding bids to the Department for Transport for work to relieve congestion around March and improve junctions around the Wisbech south development area.

The authority says the bids, along with other applications for funding of improvements in Whittlesey and Peterborough, would support the development of up to 7,000 new homes and 3,000 jobs if approved.

Mayor James Palmer said: “Transport infrastructure improvements are a key element of the future development of the region.

“We are all committed to working together to bring forward much-needed development to boost the economic growth of our region.”

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