Cambs road schemes at risk after funding cut

ROAD schemes across Cambridgeshire are set to be postponed following a �2 million cut in funding from central Government.

ROAD schemes across Cambridgeshire are set to be postponed following a �2 million cut in funding from central Government.

The planned cuts will affect schemes in St Ives, Bluntisham, Little Stukeley, Ramsey and St Neots.

“It will be necessary to communicate the planned changes carefully to local communities, outlining what is proposed, why the decisions have been taken and what has been done to minimise the impact of those decisions,” says David Halls, capital programme manager for Cambridgeshire County Council.

The council will also need to demonstrate “that the identification of where deferrals or cuts will fall has been conducted fairly”.

Mr Halls has outlined the planned changes in a report considered by the county council’s cabinet yesterday (Tuesday).

He said the deferrals were necessary following the withdrawal of �2,035,000 by the Government to fund the county’s integrated transport plan.

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In addition, specific grant cuts have been applied, including the reduction by �133,000 to �532,000 for A10 maintenance, and a �248,000 road safety grant withdrawn completely.

Mr Halls identified deferrals across the county, ranging from postponing improvements to the bus network to community transport and market town improvements.

“It is important to note that, at this stage, schemes aren’t being cancelled but deferred, or in some cases technical studies reduced in scope,” said Mr Halls.

The “deferrals” in Mr Halls’s report included:

? Save �250,000 on deferring the Houghton Road bus lane, St Ives

? Defer and save �127,000 on the Somersham Road, St Ives, safety scheme

? Save �91,000 by deferring cycle route improvements in St Neots

? Save �13,000 by deferring pedestrian improvements in Bluntisham, Ramsey and Little Stukeley

? Save �490,000 by deferring the roll out of the Intelligent Bus Stop Information System

? Reduce by �10,000 to �15,000 a one way bus flow feasibility study for Magdalene Street, Cambridge

? Save �140,000 on bus stop improvements for Cambridge

? Save �50,000 by deferring improvements to Newmarket Road/Barnwell Road roundabout

? Save �180,000 by deferring parking review in Newmarket Road, Cambridge

? Save �150,000 by slowing down civil parking enforcement in parts of the county

? Halt a review into community transport, saving �50,000

? Save �123,000 on bus stop improvements along the A1307

? Save �18,000 on Wisbech Market Place improvements (although this was unlikely to happen this year anyway)

Mr Halls says the proposed changes “may reduce the ability for people to travel and therefore to access facilities they need to access.

“The impact has been minimised by focusing the cuts on studies where possible and not on infrastructure provision but there may still be a long term impact as they are general reductions in spend on transport schemes.”