Wisbech Access Strategy schemes set to be discussed

Work is pressing ahead with three key highway schemes identified as part of the Wisbech Access Strategy - two of which are due to start construction in Winter 2020/21. The schemes aim to reduce congestion to support future housing and job growth for the town.

At a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council's Highways and Transport Committee on Tuesday, 7 July, members will be asked to consider approving the prioritisation of these schemes in a new phased approach and revised timescales.

Subject to successful land purchases, construction is proposed to start in Winter 2020/21 on the introduction of two new roundabouts at the junctions of Elm High Road / Ramnoth Road and the A47 / Broadend Road. Once these works are complete, the approaches to the existing roundabout and junction of Elm High Road and the A47 will be widened.

Development of the two other schemes in the current programme, the Newbridge Lane/Cromwell Road junction and Southern Access Road, are recommended to be put on hold and reviewed at a later stage. This recommendation follows potential developments in that area which may impact on proposals, for example, the potential for re-opening the Wisbech railway line in the vicinity.

Local Growth funding of £10.5 million was secured in 2018 from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board to fund all of the schemes. However, a budget of just under £10 million is required to deliver the three proposed schemes in the new phased approach. The Combined Authority continues to support the project and has made arrangements to ensure the necessary funding will continue to be available based on the new timescales but is subject to their business board approval.

Cambridgeshire County Council is currently approaching residents and landowners to agree the purchase of land required to construct the schemes and to explain the reasoning behind the improvements and how the strategy will contribute to faster travel times in and around the town - benefiting both residents and the local economy.

Councillor Ian Bates, Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "The delivery of this first phase of the Wisbech Access Strategy is a key package of schemes shaped by local community feedback which will deliver improvements to transport in the area.

"These improvements are vital to encouraging growth and regeneration in the town, improving accessibility and helping to support the delivery of more than 3,500 new homes and 2,500 new jobs, as set out in Fenland's Local Plan.

"We are working closely with the Combined Authority and all partners involved to ensure the benefits for Wisbech are delivered as soon as possible."

The committee paper where this will be discussed can be found on our website here

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