Mayor joins celebration as new King’s Dyke bridge opens and first drivers go across
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson today rejoiced in the ‘triumph’ of partners and colleagues whose work will end the delays that snarled up road travel between Whittlesey and Peterborough at the King’s Dyke Level Crossing.
For some fifty years, people around Fenland and the market town of Whittlesey have campaigned for a solution to rising delays at the notorious crossing.
But today, the new road scheme was opened, including a bridge over the Ely to Peterborough railway line as well as two new roundabouts.
The new layout, chiefly funded by the Combined Authority and delivered by Cambridgeshire County Council, has cost £32 million and is designed to end the blockage caused by the King’s Dyke level crossing which will be closed and removed in the ensuing last stage of the construction
The major project has been delivered thanks to the support of several partners, including Fenland District and Whittlesey Town councils and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, which provided the lion’s share of the funding.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson:
“This is a triumph for everyone who has worked to make it happen. Helping get landmark projects like this off the ground is exactly what the Combined Authority was created for.
“We’re here to support ambitious schemes that will benefit all the community and turn sustainable growth into reality for all. With Combined Authority backing, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can think big and deliver real change for the wider public good.”
Overall, the King’s Dyke scheme will support sustainable housing and job growth within Whittlesey, as well as reducing the unnecessarily long journey times that have for so long added costs to business, emissions to the environment, and stress to motorists. In peak periods, the level crossing barrier can be down for up to 23 minutes an hour – and future rail plans mean the number of trains travelling along the route may well increase.
The last phase of work will include completing the eastern roundabout tie-in, which can only be started now traffic is using the new road. Further works include the construction of an embankment near Forterra, works at Funtham’s Lane, landscaping, and the closure and removal of the level crossing.
Cambridgeshire County Council, the Combined Authority’s delivery partner, contracted Jones Brothers for the work, which is months ahead of schedule. Although the last stage of construction now continues, commuters will notice significantly reduced travel times and disruption after the eastern tie-in works are completed.
Cllr Chris Boden, Leader of Fenland District Council and local County Council member for Whittlesey North, said: “This is a momentous day and one which has only been made possible thanks to the hard work of so many people.”
The project is expected to complete by the end of the year, with the level crossing permanently closed and removed in the autumn.