Exciting idea to link A47 to M11 - but you’ll have to be patient

PUBLISHED: 15:18 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:29 03 April 2019

The A47 at Wisbech. The prospect of a new road to link it to the M11 in Cambridgeshire is likely to be put on hold for now. Pic: Ian Burt.

The A47 at Wisbech. The prospect of a new road to link it to the M11 in Cambridgeshire is likely to be put on hold for now. Pic: Ian Burt.

Archant © 2008

A study has outlined the benefits of creating a new link road to connect the A47 to the M11 motorway, but pursuit of any scheme has been put on hold until at least 2030.

Cambridge and Peterborough mayor James Palmer. Picture: Chris BishopCambridge and Peterborough mayor James Palmer. Picture: Chris Bishop

A study exploring the feasibility, viability, benefits and impact of building a new road to link the A47 in the area around Wisbech and Guyhirn to the M11 in Cambridgeshire was commissioned by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Yesterday, members of the combined authority’s transport committee discussed the 134-page study, which was put together by consultants Mott MacDonald.

The report which came before members of the committee, stated: “Given the scale of the M11-A47 extension project, the financial implications to bring the project to completion are significant.

“In order to move to the next stages, the combined authority would likely need to commit several million pounds of revenue funding towards progressing the scheme to the next phase.

“The primary source of funding for projects of such significant scale is the road investment strategy (RIS) funding stream. RIS2 is currently under consideration and will run from 2020-25.

“The combined authority is promoting the A47 for consideration in the RIS2 funding road. As a result, any application for funding of an M11 extension scheme would need to be considered for a RIS3 funding round, assuming it comes forward, which would be expected to run from 2030 to 2035.”

Three main options for such a link were explored, all joining the A47 near Wisbech, either at the Guyhirn roundabout or at the A1101/B1101 junction near Elm.

The report acknowledged such a road would “potentially have adverse effects on the Ouse Washes”, which stretch from Downham Market in Norfolk to St Ives in Cambridgeshire.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority mayor James Palmer and the committee agreed the project will not proceed at this time, but that the committee should consider it again once it becomes clear if money will be awarded for the A47 and A10 schemes.

Norfolk County Council has, through the Just Dual It! campaign, pushed for the government to commit to the full dualling of the A47.

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