Long-awaited King’s Dyke rail crossing in Whittlesey will be ‘completed on time’ despite rising costs

The King's Dyke Level Crossing
The King's Dyke Level Crossing
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The long-awaited King’s Dyke rail crossing will be completed on time, despite costs rising by more than £3m county councillors have been told.

But Liberal Democrat Cambridgeshire County Cllr Nichola Harrison reacted angrily to the spiralling cost of the project.

She said: “This overspend is being treated in a matter-of-fact way with additional costs not fully explained.”

Strategic finance manager, Sarah Heywood, told the authority’s Economy and Environment Committee on Thursday that the county council is fully committed to the project, with £13.6m already allocated in its business plan, although the estimated completion costs are expected to significantly exceed £16.9m.

“This project requires a road bridge to be built over the railway lines, with significant earthworks and ground stabilisation,” Ms Heywood explained.

“The diversion of utility equipment such as high voltage cables will also add to the overall budget.

“Plans to increase the number of trains travelling along the route will cause significant traffic delays between Whittlesey and Peterborough on the A605, and the bridge construction can only be carried out by closing the railway for very short periods of time”, she added.

The existing level crossing at King’s Dyke has been an issue for a long time, primarily due to downtime of the barriers, and the subsequent delays to the road traffic.

While the design stage of the King’s Dyke project is nearing completion, and the land purchase in place, a detailed report with final costings will not be available until the next committee meeting on September 13.

Construction by Kier will commence as soon as the design phase has been approved, with the road likely to open in Spring 2020.