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Wheatsheaf crossroads could move closer to construction

29 November 2023

The Wheatsheaf crossroads junction improvement work will be discussed at the Highways and Transport Committee next week (Tuesday, 5 December).

At an earlier committee, a preferred solution to install a traffic light-controlled junction was agreed on the B1040 Somersham Road/Wheatsheaf Road and Bluntisham Heath Road to reduce the number of collisions involving drivers failing to give way.

Funding of £6.8m for the traffic lights and widening is already in place and if agreed at committee next week, construction could begin in April 2024. However, this is dependent on being able to buy the additional land needed to widen the road, which is necessary to construct the new junction.

The detailed design is complete and will see a four-way signal junction installed, the existing layout will be widened to allow right-hand turn lanes to be provided and separate lanes will be built on the approaches to the new junction.

Cllr Neil Shailer, vice-chair of the Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Road safety is hugely important and we want to identify schemes where we can make a big difference to our communities within the tight budget we have.

“We welcome these improvements. We understand people want this project delivered and we are working as quickly as we can to install the traffic light scheme at Wheatsheaf crossroads. We have been working on the design, speaking to those involved such as statutory providers, engaging with stakeholders, carrying out work on site – including surveys of the existing road and ecological surveys. We have completed the preliminary design, completed the detailed design and we’re now ready to select a contractor to deliver the work.

“Another important piece of this project is negotiating on the land surrounding the junction. We need to widen the existing highway so that traffic has the right amount of space to queue at the traffic lights.

“I look forward to discussing this scheme at committee.”

Cllr Steve Criswell, Cambridgeshire County Council Member for Somersham and Earith said: “The community has been eager to see improvements to this junction for a long time. It is good to see that a safety solution looks set to finally come to fruition.”

The next steps, subject to committee approval and the land required, are to procure a contractor and then start the utility diversion work such as relocating the power lines, water, gas and broadband. This is expected to start in February 2024. As soon as a programme has been agreed, more details including start dates and the construction period will be announced.

The committee papers can be found on our website and the meeting will be live streamed on the council’s YouTube channel.