All improved roads lead to city

John Holdich
John Holdich

Our ambitious city centre improvements continue apace and have now included the Bishop’s Road area by the Lido, writes leader of Peterborough City Council John Holdich.

We are now well progressed from the recent upgrading of Lower Bridge Street by Rivergate and I’m really pleased with how the work is developing - I regularly walk along this stretch of road to see the progress our team is making on behalf of our residents and visitors. I know there’s occasional disruption but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs and I guarantee it’ll be worth it. We know at the moment peak travel periods create congestion at the Rivergate roundabout, partly through vehicles queuing on Bishop’s Road. Further road congestion arises from westbound traffic waiting to turn into the Bishop’s Road car park. As an element of our scheme we’re relocating the current signal crossing 65m further east to reduce the ‘backing-up’ from the roundabout and creating a much-needed right turn lane to the Lido car park. We are also keen to improve cycling provision by making a cycleway through Lido Gardens, widening the footway on this side and designating shared use for pedestrians and cyclists. We’ve created an improved crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists at the vehicle entrance to Car Haven car park and installed new LED lighting alongside improved pedestrian footways and crossing points at the Bishops Road roundabout. 

All of this creates a better city for residents and visitors and makes us an attractive location for new businesses. One of those being global company Addison Lee who recently opened new offices at Hampton. Councillor Peter Hiller, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, and I were invited to the official opening to learn more about the business and why they chose Peterborough.

Previously, we’d had exploratory talks with the company to promote our city and demonstrate our keenness to work with them through our economic regeneration company Opportunity Peterborough. At the opening we were treated to a guided tour of their offices and listened to an inspiring address from their Chief Operating Officer, Catherine Faiers as she outlined the rationale behind her firm’s move to our city. She stated how they’d evaluated many cities for their relocation from London and how Peterborough remained firmly at the top of their list for accessibility to London and the rest of the UK. I thank Catherine and her fellow directors for having the confidence to invest in our great city.

The council is being consulted upon yet more investment in Peterborough but this time by Network Rail.

A huge civil engineering scheme is planned to the north of Werrington and was recently the subject of site inspections and an in-depth presentation and questioning session by the council’s planning committee.

Network Rail are proposing to build a new two-track railway line, just over 3km in length, under the East Coast Main Line at Werrington Junction that will enable high-speed trains to pass over the Great Northern Great Eastern Line.

This new underpass, below the East Coast Main Line, will involve the construction of a rail line to provide a new connection between the Stamford lines, to the west of the East Coast Main Line, and the Great Northern Great Eastern rail lines, to the east of this line. This major investment by Network Rail will improve the existing conflict between freight and passenger services considerably and will, when it’s finished, be virtually invisible.

If you were up early on Monday, you may have heard me talking on Radio Cambridgeshire about the Public Spaces Protection Order which is being introduced to help make our city centre an even greater place to be.

A small minority of people are spoiling the experience of shoppers, visitors and businesses by behaving anti-socially, for example, riding their bicycles along pedestrianised Bridge Street, drinking too much alcohol, dropping litter or begging in an aggressive way. The order gives our Prevention and Enforcement Service the power to issue a fine of £80 (reduced to £60 if paid within seven days) to anyone breaking the rules. Officers from the PES have spent the last six weeks speaking to people to advise them the order is in place, and the feedback from everyone has been overwhelmingly positive.

And from Monday this week, we began to enforce the order.

We hope and expect that, alongside the powers that PES officers already have, this will make our city centre an even better place to spend time in.

A second order is soon to be introduced covering the Gladstone, Millfield, New England and Eastgate areas along with the Embankment and Lower Bridge Street, and this too will help ensure that these areas are safe and clean for everyone to enjoy.

************

Finally, I would like to put on record our thanks to Councillor David Sanders, his Consort, as well as the

Deputy Mayor and Mayoress, for a very positive and productive year.