Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Edison Bell Way is open to traffic.
Huntingdon’s new £10million link road was declared open yesterday (Tuesday), aiming to take traffic from Ermine Street to Brampton Road without the need for a tour of the town ring road – as well as opening up land for redevelopment.
Councillor Jason Ablewhite, executive leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, was first on the road, taking HDC chairman Cllr Barbara Boddington and Cllr Kevin Reynolds, chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council, for a quick trip in his car along the 500m route.
The opening of the road will allow a number of developments to take place as it unlocks key land west of the town centre. Not only does it help pave the way for Sainsbury’s to build a new supermarket and a row of shops, but will also open up land earmarked by Tesco’s agents Spenhill to build houses, a care home and a hotel, bar, shops or restaurant with a drive through.
Over the next months, CCC said it would monitor traffic at the junctions either end of the link road to see if adjustments are needed to the traffic light timings.
At the opening, Cllr Ablewhite said: “Huntingdonshire District Council is not a highways authority, we don’t normally build roads. This is not a whim. People ask why we are spending so much on a small road but it will unlock investment in our town centre. It will bring social and economic benefits for our populous.
“It will create jobs and prosperity for this area as a whole and make Huntingdonshire a place for people to invest in.
“It was not long ago that we were talking about the road and I am delighted that it has been delivered on time and to budget, which is impressive in these times.”
Councillor Martin Curtis, leader of CCC, added: “I am very happy to be here today at the opening of Edison Bell Way which will relieve some of the pressure on Huntingdon ring road.
“The road is named after Edison Bell which is very close to my heart as it made music accessible in its mass production of gramophones.”
Gramophone production company Edison Bell had a site in the town a century ago. The factory was destroyed by fire in 1928 and closed in 1930, just five years after its heyday.