December 5 2013 Latest news:
By Chris Bishop
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Plans and images for the proposed Ely Southern Bypass are to be revealed this week.
Cambridgeshire County Council is proposing a £30.7m bypass to the south of Ely to reduce the congestion around the railway station.
In a series of public exhibitions, residents will be able to see for themselves the likely impact the bypass will have through a digital fly-through video and drawings as well as speak to officers about the scheme.
The events form part of pre planning consultation ahead of a formal application being submitted later this year.
Surveys in 2010 revealed the railway crossing was closed for up to 35 minutes every hour. The problem is likely to get worse as rail services using the line are expected to increase.
Along with relieving congestion at the level crossing, the proposed bypass will provide better access to the city centre, business areas and the railway station.
Residents and visitors to Ely will also benefit from a new walkway which will be constructed as part of the bridge providing views of the Cathedral and surrounding area. It will connect the Fen Rivers Way and Ouse Valley Way footpaths and improve links to the city centre.
County councillor Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire’s cabinet member for growth and planning said: “The proposed southern bypass will be a huge benefit to the thriving market town of Ely, Cambridgeshire and the East as a whole.
“As this is the only crossing point of both the railway and the River Great Ouse for several miles in either direction, traffic has no option but to cross the railway line at this spot.
“The bypass should relieve this area of congestion, encourage growth and make Ely a more desirable place to live and work. We hope people will come along to view the plans and let us know their thoughts.”
“We do understand the bypass will have an impact on the landscape and historical setting of Ely and it’s Cathedral. However, this impact has been considered through the design of the new bypass and reduced where possible.
“We have also researched a locally suggested alternative, known as the hidden bypass. It would start from a new roundabout on Angel Drove, pass under the main railway line and cross King’s School playing fields back onto the A142.
“This would impact less on the landscape but our investigations determined it would not provide value for money or deliver the same benefits to the area as the bypass.”
Peter Moakes, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “I was very excited to see how the plans for the bypass have developed. “It is a design which balances the need to tackle the congestion caused by the A142 and is sympathetic to fen landscape.
“We know we have the support of majority of the public for a proposed bypass, the challenge now is to deliver the solution as soon as we can.”
Public exhibitions are being held on
Tuesday, March 5 (4.30 - 7.30pm) - Lamb Hotel, Ely; Wednesday, March 6 (5 - 7pm) – Stuntney Social Club; Tuesday, March 12 (4 - 7pm) - Ely train station; Thursday, March 14 (5 - 7pm) – Witchford Village Hall; Saturday, March 16 (9am - 3pm) – Ely Market; Thursday, March 21 (4.30 - 7.30pm) – Soham Village College.