March 9 2014 Latest news:
By John Elworthy , The Editor
Thursday, February 28, 2013
HE recognised problems of a “whole community getting stuffed during the floods” but even so there was surprise at county council leader Nick Clarke’s announcement of a £15million bridge at Kings Dyke, Whittlesey.
“How on earth can we not get on and deal with something that after all is just plain common sense?” said Cllr Clarke.
The bridge will be no dim and distant dream since a report going to Cabinet next week will outline both a projected time scale and how it will be funded. The bridge could open within three years.
Cambridgeshire council tax payers will pay for up to two thirds of it whilst Network Rail will chip in most of the rest- with extra cash maybe coming from elsewhere.
Cllr Clarke said around 100 trains a day use the line and this could increase to 244 trains daily – an increase of 150% by 2031. In addition some 11,000 vehicles use the A605 at King’s Dyke daily and long tail backs build up regularly when the barriers are down.
“During winter months the problems caused by the level crossing are made worse when the alternative route to Peterborough via the B1040 is closed because of flooding,” he said.
He praised Whittlesey councillors Martin Curtis and Ralph Butcher who have both campaigned hard for a bridge at the level crossing.
In a statement both were “delighted that the council has found a solution to the problems caused by the King’s Dyke level crossing which is a big issue locally with the traffic delays impacting on the whole town.”
The Cabinet report says the level crossing could be bridged to avoid severe traffic delays when the crossing is closed to vehicles.
County councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet member for growth and planning, said: “The need for a solution to the traffic delays is clear and the situation will only get worse if as anticipated the number of trains using the crossing increase significantly in the future.”