Further comments from Mayor on A10 report
Following the publication of the A10 report, Mayor Palmer said:
“Clearly anyone who uses the A10 on a regular basis will be in no doubt that significant improvements are needed. We don’t need a high-level report to tell us that!
“However, what this report does provide is a strong evidence base that will better enable us to make the case for investment. This report makes clear that significant upgrades to the A10 wouldn’t just make life far easier for those who use the road on a regular basis, it also makes economic sense. The report makes clear that spending money on making significant improvements to the A10 is well worth the investment. Cambridgeshire is one of the most economically dynamic parts of the country but is held back by inadequate transport infrastructure. Without doubt, making significant upgrades to key roads such as the A10 is central to enabling Cambridgeshire to achieve its economic potential. It makes economic sense for the Government to invest in the Cambridgeshire road network.
“Frankly, at certain times of the day, the A10 better resembles a car park than an increasingly important road situated within one of the most economically dynamic parts of the country. As the former leader of East Cambridgeshire, I’m particularly familiar with the congestion problems along the A10 and have been crystal clear both before and after my election as Mayor what I believe is required. The additional homes that are planned for Waterbeach and Ely mean that in my view, a solution that does not involve dualling the road would fall short of what is required.
“Just before Christmas, I met with the Minister of State for Roads, Rt Hon John Hayes MP to make the case for the A10 to be dualled. He saw the case for significant investment and I’m hopeful that we will be successful in securing Government backing to fund part of the work that is needed. Clearly the Combined Authority also has its own funds and the A10 is a top priority for me.
“This report was commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council before the creation of the Mayoral Combined Authority. It will now be for the Combined Authority, as the local transport authority, to take the report and progress as quickly as possible through the various stages we have to pass through in order to ensure that the road is dualled. The report will have to go to the Combined Authority Board and the next stages will likely involve an options appraisal and a round of consultation.
“The report makes clear that a number of interventions are needed. Clearly some will be able to be delivered more quickly than others but I’m keen to ensure that the actions that follow on from this report do not fall short of what is required.
“I don’t think that the people who are reliant on the A10 are looking for half-baked solutions, but the ultimate solution. It would be wrong to think that simply modifying a few junctions goes anywhere near far enough.
“A key priority for me will be looking to deliver the upgrades as quickly as possible. I’m immensely frustrated at the time it takes to deliver significant transport infrastructure improvements in this country.
“My view is that the timeline for delivery set out in the report is not as ambitious as I would have liked, with 2025 being identified as the year when construction will start.The aim needs to be for work on dualling the A10 to start within the next few years. There are processes to follow and boxes that need to be ticked but it’s of great importance that there is a sense of urgency to deliver significant upgrades quickly.”