The 2001 Local Transport Plan identified that the King's Dyke level crossing in Whittlesey was in need of replacement.
A new scheme is required to allow for housing and job growth within Whittlesey, as well as reducing journey times for those who use the route.
In peak periods, the level crossing barrier can be down for between 12 and 23 minutes per hour, resulting in significant delays to traffic. Future plans by the rail industry to increase the number of trains travelling along the route are set to further increase traffic delays.
We conducted a public consultation in 2014 on proposals to replace the level crossing. 95% of respondents supported the scheme.
58% of respondents, as well as some local businesses and Whittlesey Town Council, supported a route which would bypass the existing level crossing to the south. It involves creating two new roundabouts at Funthams Lane and the brickworks access road.
The scheme requires significant earthworks, ground stabilisation and construction of a bridge over the railway line, which can only close for very short periods of time.
A number of improvements and alterations to the highway network must be made to build this scheme. The work requires a Side Roads Order, which is a statutory order authorising the council to make alterations to the highway network. An order has been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.
Current stage of project
There will be no drawbacks now a new bridge over King’s Dyke Level Crossing has opened today, Monday 11 July.
Regular delays caused by passing trains will now be a thing of the past thanks to the speedy progress made by Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK. After hitting this major milestone, the civil engineering contractor will now focus its attention on the existing A605 as work enters the final stretch of the £32 million scheme.
This includes completing the eastern roundabout tie-in, which Jones Bros can only action when traffic is using the new road. There will be approximately three weeks of two-way traffic lights, operating 24 hours a day while this work is completed.
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.
Jones Bros was appointed by Cambridgeshire County Council and began on site in July 2020 with works expected to continue until the end of this year. However, commuters will notice significantly reduced travel times and disruption after the eastern tie-in works are completed, with no further traffic management planned on the new road as part of the scheme.
Timeline of project so far
With all major structures now complete, our contractor Jones Bros is to begin work on connecting the new road to the existing network. They will start with the western roundabout, before switching to the eastern roundabout in late spring.
As a result, we are putting temporary traffic management measures on the road for the following periods:
- From 10 January 2022, for the first three weeks, we will use three-way traffic lights on the Funtham's Lane Junction at the western end. These operate from Monday morning, 9.30am until 3.30pm on Friday, as we work on the westbound carriageway
- After this period, we switch to using two-way traffic lights on the western roundabout, between 9.30am and 3.30pm each weekday
- During this work, the bus stop located at the junction with Funtham's Lane closes. A temporary bus stop will be available approximately 50m to the west
- We will introduce 24-hour traffic lights for a further month while we progress the eastbound side of the carriageway
- We scheduled work on the western side to finish in the first part of the spring. Attention shifts to the eastern side in early summer
There is a month-long gap between the western and eastern phases.
To minimise further disruption, we have timed the work with other highway and nearby development schemes. This is to ensure there are no instances where more than one piece of work happens on the road at the same time. However, if emergency work is required, we will react wherever possible.
It was identified in the 2001 Local Transport Plan that the King's Dyke level crossing in Whittlesey was in need of replacement.
Between 2002 and 2010, a number of bids made to Government for funding were refused.
Between 2012 and 2013, a business plan for the scheme was developed. Additional funding streams agreed with partners.
In 2014, we conducted a public consultation on proposals to replace the level crossing. Outcome of the consultation available further up the page.
10 March 2016 – Planning Committee approved plans to build a new crossing at King’s Dyke on the A605 between Whittlesey and Peterborough. This followed the Economy and Environment Committee’s approval of plans to replace the congested King’s Dyke level crossing in 2015.
10 August 2017 – Economy and Environment Committee agreed to appoint Kier as the contractor to carry out the first stage of the scheme – a detailed engineering design.
February 2018 – Officers carried out land surveys and ground investigations on-site to finalise the design in preparation for consultation.
April 2018 – Small holes were dug to record the exact locations and depths of any underground pipes or cables to find out if they need diverting or protecting before construction starts.
11 October 2018 – Economy and Environment Committee approved the award of the stage two construction contract to Kier, along with completion of land purchases.
3 December 2018 - Preparatory work for the King's Dyke level crossing closure project began with the relocation of high voltage underground electricity cables and archaeological trench digging.
17 July 2019 – Kier submitted a final design and price for the construction phase of the King’s Dyke project.
12 August 2019 – Following an invitation from Council Leader Steve Count, more than 260 local people attended an exhibition in Whittlesey to meet with Cllr Count and officers involved in the King’s Dyke project.
30 September 2019 - Call for expressions of interest. Council published a notice and tender documents in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Tenders are due back by March 2020.
15 April 2020 - After receiving three bids, the Council has identified the preferred contractor to finalise the design and build contract for the King's Dyke scheme. This will now be discussed by the Economy and Environment Committee followed by the General Purposes Committee on 23 April 2020. At these meetings, the final decision to award the contract to the preferred bidder will be taken.
On Thursday 21 May 2020, Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK were confirmed as the contractor to deliver the King's Dyke level crossing closure scheme.
Following a rigorous tender process, Jones Bros scored highest in both quality and price assessments.
The tender process started in September last year and was completed on 9 April 2020. The County Council's Economy and Environment Committee and General Purposes Committee subsequently approved the award of the contract to Jones Brothers on 23 April 2020.
From Thursday 28 May 2020 for two days, Jones Bros will be on site carrying out some ground investigation work. It will be between 8am and 5pm at the western end of the scheme near Funtham's Lane and the new underpass. They will be digging holes in the fields to inspect the materials and soil qualities. No disruption will be caused on the roads and no residents will be affected.
An official start of works ceremony was held on Monday 20 July 2020. Work began five months early and includes building a new road and bridge over the Ely to Peterborough railway line. The level crossing is permanently closed as part of the work.
Work has begun on the earthworks which involves bringing in materials to construct the embankment that the new road will be built on. The main site compound will be built and, later this year, the focus will be on the structure for the underpass and bridge.
All construction activity will comply with the Coronavirus restrictions and national construction site operating procedures.
A site compound has been established and our contractors Jones Bros are currently completing works to create the supporting structure needed for the new road. This requires partially filling Star Pit Quarry. Jones Bros will soon begin work on top of the filled area to build the embankment and bypass.
We would like to thank local residents for their cooperation whilst temporary traffic lights have been needed to complete the works access near the A605.
It was recently decided that we will name the new road 'Ralph Butcher Causeway', to honour a past local councillor who campaigned for the bypass.
All construction activities complies with the Coronavirus restrictions and national construction site operating procedures.
Many of the large elements of the project are nearing completion or well underway, such as construction of the road embankment between the underpass structure and railway bridge. The concrete structure for the underpass has also been finished and the railway bridge deck is in place. The ramps that lead up to the railway bridge are finished, as well as the concrete underpass, this means the largest structures in the King’s Dyke Level Crossing scheme are now complete.
The teams focus is now on the project’s roads, with drainage and kerbing, the ducts which will house electrical cabling for street lighting, as well as footpaths.
The King’s Dyke project is progressing well and on track to open to traffic by the end of 2022.
The piling work at Star Pit began in September and we expect it to last until early November.
In response to ground investigation work, and to introduce extra stability, our contractors Jones Bros have designed a new, highly engineered and improved solution to tackle Star Pit and will install a piled wall.
The new design involves piling 23 metres below ground level and installing a steel reinforcement cage filled with concrete. This reinforces Star Pit side walls, allowing the road's embankment to be completed. This method is more robust and increases the longevity of the asset.
The current approved scheme budget of £32 million is made up of funding from:
- Cambridgeshire County Council
- Growth Deal funding approved by the former Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority's (CPCA) Transforming Cities Fund
There is a separate £1.5 million Covid-19 contingency budget to fund any additional costs directly associated with the project caused by the impact of Coronavirus.
Frequently asked questions
An official start of works ceremony was held on 20 July 2020. The new road will be open to the public by the end of 2022.
This will be closed once the new road is open.
Yes, there will be eastbound and westbound bus stops at both ends of the scheme. There will be footpaths allowing easy pedestrian access to all bus stops.
- 33KV UK Power Network diversion
- Vegetation clearance
- Asbestos removal
- Ecological mitigation measures - removal of Great Crested Newts
- 11KV UK Power Network diversion completed
- Access points constructed onto site
- Satellite compound constructed at the western end of the scheme
- Additional trial holes for utilities and in the peat area
- Additional ecology surveys and some further vegetation clearance
Jones Bros produce a quarterly newsletter about the King's Dyke level crossing project. We publish the latest edition.
Documents relating to the scheme are available to view below, including Side Roads Orders, options assessments and feasibility reports.
For more information about the scheme, please email Transport.Delivery@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or telephone 01223 699 069.
We are aware that not all the documents on this page are in an accessible format at the moment. If you would like any of the resources in an accessible format please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.