MP Shailesh Vara welcomes new funding to help repair fen roads in Huntingdonshire

Soil subsidence has caused damage to fen roads.

Soil subsidence has caused damage to fen roads. - Credit: Archant

The MP for North West Cambridgeshire has welcomed an announcement by the Department for Transport that rural roads in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are set for a £3.5mllion boost.

This funding was confirmed today (Tuesday) following a successful bid by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, which was backed by MP Shailesh Vara.

The funds will go to repair about 40 miles of drought-damaged roads in Mr Vara’s constituency, which comprises a substantial part of Peterborough as well as a large part of Huntingdonshire.

Mr Vara wrote in strong support of the bid which will address the problem of fen roads being at greater risk of deterioration due to their construction on soil that is prone to subsidence.

The funds will be spent on deeper treatment to badly-affected routes and, it is hoped, will make a real difference for motorists.

The funding comes from a £75 million pot which has been allocated to local councils nationally following a bidding process to the Department for Transport local highways maintenance challenge fund.

The challenge fund is one part of the £6.1billion being provided to local highway authorities in England, outside London, between 2015/2016 and 2020/2021 to help keep Britain moving.

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The money will go towards improving roads with a view to cutting congestion, reducing journey times and improving reliability as well as helping to support local businesses and boost economic growth.

Mr Vara said: “This is excellent news and I am very pleased that the government has backed the council’s scheme for fen roads with significant funding.

“The roads provide vital vehicular access for many communities and their improved condition will ensure safer and better travel for motorists.

“The council’s bid was one of many and it is encouraging to see that the government has recognised our local need and provided the necessary funds.”

Councillor Mathew Shuter, chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways and community infrastructure committee, said: “This funding will mean a long-term approach to maintenance of these roads, preventing the need for costly, reactive repairs and repeated disruption to drivers.”