It is welcome news that the Ely to Sutton cycleway will be completed within the next fortnight.
I questioned why construction of the route was taking so long after being contacted by a resident fed-up with the long tail-backs of traffic caused by the work. Cambridgeshire County Council now assure me that the work will be completed shortly.
In a written response Mike Davies, Cambridgeshire’s Team Leader for cycling projects, explained: “The Ely to Sutton cycle route has been delivered in two phases. The section from Wentworth junction to the petrol station started in October 2014, and was completed in mid-January.
“Phase two which is well underway at the moment, is more complex and includes two junction improvements at Wentworth and at Witcham Toll, drainage works, and work adjacent to residential properties and the petrol station.
“On busier roads such as the A142 to minimise traffic delays at peak times, we are restricted to placing traffic controls out on the road between the hours of 9.30am to 3.30pm. Mostly traffic control is efficient and managed well, but at the junctions three-way or even four-way light control has been necessary, this is more restrictive, and can create longer queues.
“A number of traffic incidents have occurred along this road holding up traffic even further. For example an accident happened last week that closed the road for several hours whilst the police carried out an investigation. We have also co ordinated with another contractor who has been replacing street lights in the area, which has restricted the efficiency of our operations somewhat.”
He concludes: “I am pleased to report though that the scheme will be completed within the next two weeks. Sutton and the surrounding villages will soon have a completed high quality foot and cycle link to Ely via Witchford, along this very busy road.”
I have consistently campaigned for better cycleways in our area since my election in 2010 and whilst it was positive news that the footpath was being built, I was concerned that the project was causing unnecessary inconvenience to motorists, residents and businesses due to the length of time it was taking. The resident who contacted me said motorists were often caught in tailbacks over 30 minutes long and it has been especially bad since January. But thankfully the project is now nearing completion and I’m sure everyone will welcome that news.”