New river crossing and railway station among key projects for year ahead

Mayor James Palmer

Mayor James Palmer - Credit: Archant

A third river crossing for Huntingdon, a new railway station for Alconbury and masterplans for market towns are among the ‘key projects’ announced for this year by the mayor of the county.

In his 2019/20 business plan, James Palmer, the mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has revealed 12 key projects he wants to see taken to the “next decisive stage of development”, which include three Huntingdonshire projects.

According to the business plan, the mayor and his combined authority “wish to understand how the highway network north of the River Great Ouse can be more effectively connected with the wider strategic road network”.

As such, a study will be commissioned to look at the feasibility, viability, benefits and impacts of a road link crossing the River Great Ouse that connects the A141 route to the north of the river and the existing A14 trunk road.

The report said the benefits of a third Huntingdon crossing would see congestion at existing crossings lessened and transport capacity improved to cater for housing growth.

An initial feasibility report into the crossing is expected in March 2020 and £200,000 has been set aside by the mayor in his budget to cover the costs.

The report also said plans for a station at Alconbury would “progress” in 2019 as the combined authority worked with the developer Urban and Civic.

Most Read

The business plan noted: “The station will play a central role in satisfying the devolution deal requirement for successful delivery of the Alconbury Weald enterprise zone, by enabling 6,000 new homes and 290,000sq m of employment floor space.”

The plan noted that funding for the station would come from “developer contributions” from the firms building housing at the former RAF base.

The business plan also highlighted the mayor’s aim to progress with masterplans for market towns across Cambridgeshire.

The report said: “By the end of 2019 each market town will have a plan setting out future economic growth potential and highlighting the strategic interventions that are needed to achieve that.”

St Neots was selected last year as the first town in the county to go through the process, with a view to setting out the future infrastructure and housing requirements for the town.

The combined authority provided £4.1million of funding to “support a range of projects” as part of the St Neots masterplan and said a further £1.7million of partner contributions would add to the investment in the town.