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Combined Authority picks global big-hitter to push bypass forward


Combined Authority picks global big-hitter to push bypass forward

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, headed by Mayor James Palmer, has appointed the design, engineering, and project management consultant, Atkins, to press forward delivery of the much-needed A141 Huntingdon Bypass.

Following the procurement process, Atkins – which has offices in both Peterborough and Cambridge – was selected from a strong field of five other contenders for this vital project. Part of the SNC-Lavalin Group, Atkins was chosen for its high level of local knowledge and an innovative approach which chimes with the Mayoral Combined Authority’s cut-through way of achieving delivery.

The company will now work with the Combined Authority to develop the Strategic Outline Business Case for an A141 offline bypass, to the north of Huntingdon, providing the Mayoral Combined Authority with an assessment of options to take the project forward to the next stage.

Previous studies have shown that a Huntingdon bypass is needed to support increasing traffic and enable economic growth and development in the area. The assessment Atkins has been commissioned to undertake will identify the wider economic benefits that may be realised as a result of the bypass.

The Strategic Outline Business Case will comply with Government guidance on major transport scheme development, and include the following:

  • The context and case for change, setting out why the investment is required.
  • Setting out how achievements will be measured against objectives.
  • Outline and report on the development of options, including innovative options.
  • Identify funding requirements
  • Show benefits like predicted journey times against the do-nothing and do-minimum -scenarios, now and in future.
  • Cost estimates
  • Determine Benefit-to-Cost ratios for each option
  • Put in place a robust project governance structure and show the project is affordable.

The public and stakeholders will be consulted over the coming months as part of this stage of developing the scheme

James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough:

“Global experience and local knowledge, I’m delighted that we’ve been able to sign up such a big-hitter to move forward this critical work and make the case for investment. Safer greener travel will boost good growth around Huntingdon and change life for the better. We want to maintain traffic at the 2018 level, or hopefully below it, to reduce the number and length of car trips, and increase the speed and safety of cleaner transport like buses and bikes.

“We’re partnering closely with Huntingdonshire District Council on the project, which is designed first and foremost to benefit the immediate community. The bypass should protect local people by releasing pressure on rat-runs and connecting with public transport and routes for safer cycling and walking. It will undoubtedly attract economic growth and be at the heart of a greener, more people-friendly transport network linking homes, jobs and social lives – getting more of us where we want to go.”

The objectives set will reflect the Combined Authority Local Transport Plan, Local Industrial Strategy, and the Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036. They will address the needs of housing growth, business and skills development, and the Mayoral Combined Authority’s climate strategy with its net target of carbon-zero.