A major programme of works to reduce congestion in St Ives and improve access to the town centre has been given the go ahead.
Five separate schemes have been signed off by members of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee with feasibility studies on each one due to begin next month.
Funding of £2.3 million for the works has been granted to the council by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority with each scheme having been identified as part of a St Ives Transport Study.
The study examined options for reducing existing congestion on the main A1123 and A1096 corridors in the area and to reduce unwanted through traffic on the roads in the town centre. Consideration was also given to improving bus journey times through the centre.
Members of the council’s Highways and Transport Committee approved each of the five projects at its meeting on 26 April. They also agreed to establish a working group involving the district councils to develop and implement each scheme.
Cllr Neil Shailer, member of the Highways and Transport Committee, said: “This package of works will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in St Ives by reducing congestion, increasing access to the town centre and improving air quality.
“These measures will not only help tackle rat running but also make sure the town centre is a more pleasant place to visit with slower traffic.
“These schemes will not be delivered overnight, but we will progress them straight away so improvements can be brought in as soon as possible following consultation with the public and stakeholders.”
The committee had previously considered a report on the St Ives Transport Study in September 2020. This has since been progressed with a package of projects to deliver the stated aims of reducing congestion.
1. St Ives Town Centre
- Introduction of a 20mph speed limit across the town centre.
- Road widening at the Ramsey Road/North Road, Globe Place/North Road/Broad Leas and Globe Place/West Street/East Street junctions
- Changes to on-street parking restrictions to reduce illegal and inconsiderate parking
- A focus on reducing congestion pinch points in the town centre, rat running and improving bus access.
2. Silvaco West Roundabout and Needingworth Road
- Silvaco West (A1123/B1040) roundabout improvements, including the replacement of the roundabout at the A1123 St Audrey Lane/B1040 Somersham Road junction with traffic signals
- A right-turn ban for all traffic from Needingworth Road onto A1123 St Audrey Lane.
3. Bus Stop Improvements
- Improvements to bus stop infrastructure, including 22 priority bus stops.
4. Walking and Cycling Signage Improvements
- 41 new signs
- Removal of redundant infrastructure
5. Non-Motorised User (NMU) Routes Development Study
- Scoping and development of a network of active travel routes in and around St Ives
- This will lead to a more developed package of projects for consideration for investment.
The aim is to begin feasibility studies for the five projects in May with an initial timeline for the first four schemes to be delivered by March 2024, although this is subject to change.
Each of the programmes will be developed following periods of consultation with user groups and other local stakeholders.