Looking Back: Bourges Boulevard traffic delays are nothing new for Peterborough motorists

Bourges Boulevard aerial picture from the 1970s

Bourges Boulevard aerial picture from the 1970s

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Say the words “Bourges Boulevard’’ to a driver in Peterborough City Centre and almost certainly they will pull a face.

A £4million scheme to revamp the road complete with trees has meant months of traffic misery.

Bourges Boulevard under construction in the early 70s

Bourges Boulevard under construction in the early 70s

But, for one man Bourges Boulevard will always have a special place in his memories.

John Golding (67) who now lives near Huntingdon was a young engineer who worked on the road when it was first built back in the early 70s.

John sent us these fantastic aerial pictures when the huge project was nearing completion.

John recalls: “I was the setting out engineer working for W&C French Ltd out of their Wisbech depot.

“I was in my 20s and I remember a surveyor who worked for the council, Derek Caunt who was a very helpful man.’’

John said the project took 18 months to two years to complete and there was plenty of traffic chaos, particularly around where the Queensgate roundabout is now.

A familiar story for today’s city motorists.

John said one of the biggest challenges was the installation of some huge water drains.

More unusually, John said they had to remove skeletons from an old cemetery which was located approximately where the bus station is now.

He said: “We knew there was a cemetery down there but when we came to digging it up we had to remove all the skeletons.

“I remember there was one lad who thought of himself as a bit of a tough guy. He jumped down to clear the bones, but when he came up he’d turned green!’’

John said he believed the pictures were taken by a Peterborough Evening Telegraph photographer after the paper had commissioned an aeroplane flight over the city.

You can see from the pictures that Queensgate had not yet been built and neither had New Priestgate House, the building that is now home to the Peterborough Telegraph.

If you have any old pictures of Peterborough please get in touch, we’d love to feature them.

Contact Nigel Thornton on 01733 588714, email nigel.thornton@jpress.co.uk