The existing level crossing and its barriers have caused significant delays to traffic travelling between Whittlesey and Peterborough for years. Future plans by the rail industry to increase trains along the route are set to further increase traffic delays.
On 10 March 2016, the Planning Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council approved plans to build a new crossing at Kings Dyke on the A605 between Whittlesey and Peterborough. This followed the County Council's Economy and Environment Committee approval of plans to replace the congested Kings Dyke level crossing in 2015.
On 10 August 2017, it was agreed at Economy and Environment Committee to appoint Kier as the contractor to carry out the first stage of the scheme - a detailed engineering design. The scheme will require significant earthworks, ground stabilisation and a bridge to be constructed over the railway line, which can only be closed for very short periods of time.
In February 2018, officers carried out land surveys and ground investigations on-site to finalise the design in preparation for construction. In early April 2018, small trial 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.
On 11 October 2018, the Economy and Environment Committee approved the award of the stage two construction contract to Kier, along with completion of land purchases. Additional funding was approved by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority at its Executive Board on 31 October 2018.
The next steps will be for Cambridgeshire County Council to complete the land acquisitions needed, sign the construction contract with Kier and commence the statutory undertaker diversions including the moving of power lines by UK Power Networks.
Currently the construction is set to start Spring 2019. It is expected that the new road and bridge will open in late 2020.
The route chosen (see map below) bypasses the existing level crossing to the south. It involves the creation of two new roundabouts at Funthams Lane and the brickworks access road. In the public consultation, this route was labelled Location 3 and had the support of a majority of respondents (58%) as well as a number of local businesses and Whittlesey Town Council.
Side Roads Order
For this scheme to be built Cambridgeshire County Council must make a number of improvements and alterations to the highway network and this requires a Side Roads Order to be made. A Side Roads Order (SRO) is a statutory order authorising the highway authority to make alterations to the highway network.
Comments from the public were invited in July 2018 and following that, a decision to approve was made by the Secretary of State.
2014 Public Consultation
A public consultation on proposals to replace the King’s Dyke level crossing near Whittlesey took place from 30 October to 15 December 2014. 827 responses were received to the consultation survey with 95% of respondents stating their support for replacing the level crossing.
Location 3, the option for a bridge and bypass of the crossing around buildings to the south, received the support of a majority of respondents (58%). Locations 1 and 2 gained 17% and 23% of preferences respectively.
Cost of the scheme
The detailed design phase, undertaken early 2018, resulted in a number of changes to the initial design. Investigative groundwork proved that considerable engineering challenges are present and these will add significant cost to the scheme.
In addition to the contractor’s subsequent increased estimate for the construction, increases in land and statutory undertaker costs over early estimates have added to the forecast cost. This currently stands at £29.98 million, including risk allowances and optimism bias.
Whilst the overall budget required has increased from earlier estimates, an independent review of the project and construction costs have shown that the costs are within the current market rates for the scale of the scheme. Benefits to be achieved by continuing with the scheme remain extremely high.
To progress to the next stage, Cambridgeshire County Council looked to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority for its support as the transport authority to jointly fund the scheme. The Combined Authority approved the additional funding at its Executive Board on 31 October 2018.
Feasibility and option assessment work
If you would like to read about the options work (including the six options that were deemed to be unfeasible) in more detail please see the feasibility report (below). In the reports Location 1 is listed as 3a, Location 2 is 4 and Location 3 is option 5. Options were renamed in the consultation materials for clarity.
Further work was then undertaken to assess the three feasible options in more detail:
Visualisations of the works post construction
For further information, please contact [email protected] or telephone 01223 699069