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.
Currently the designs are nearing completion and construction will be set to start early 2019.
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 form the public were invited in July 2018 and a decision will be made by the Secretary of State shortly.
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
Early technical estimates from the Council’s consultants suggested the cost of replacing the level crossing at Location 3 may be up to £16.9m, including contingencies for unforeseen circumstances. The majority of funding has already been allocated with £5m from the Growth Deal, £3m from the Local Transport Body and £3.5m County Council funding.
Early indications after detailed site investigations show the construction cost may be significantly higher than originally estimated. Considerable land and diversion of utility equipment costs, such as high voltage cables, are also adding to the overall increase in budget required for the scheme. An in-depth review by an external consultant will be carried out to ensure the scheme brings about the right benefits and delivers value for money. In September 2018, the E&E Committee will meet to examine the external consultant’s review in detail to determine the correct price and best construction partner – as well as considering the full range of funding options.
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