Opinion: Peterborough Station Quatre development 'once in a lifetime opportunity', writes Wayne Fitzgerald

Peterborough City Council leader, Wayne Fitzgerald, gives a ‘Town Hall View’ in his latest column.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th August 2022, 11:18 am

Peterborough’s exciting ongoing development continues to gather pace and this week a once in a lifetime opportunity to enhance our city centre has moved a step closer.

We’ve submitted a £48 million bid to the government alongside the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) to develop the area around the railway station – known as Station Quarter.

If successful, funding will be released allowing the project to move forward, re-vitalising a key area in the heart of the city and benefitting residents, businesses and visitors for years to come.

The new pictures show the intended plans for Peterborough Station Quatre.

The scheme involves creating a new western entrance to the station with a car park – resulting in a double-sided station – with a new wider footbridge.

This will alleviate pressure on city centre roads, making it easier and safer to travel around the city by bicycle. Green areas with biodiversity, community spaces and better connections to the city centre will make it safer and more attractive for bikes and pedestrians.

The station’s extension will also encourage more rail travel, having a positive economic impact on the city locally and regionally.

This is an exciting opportunity to develop a prime asset to bring jobs, retail and other visitors to our city and I really hope our bid is successful.

If we get the green light, it is expected that an outline planning application will be submitted next year and construction work could take place between 2024 and 2026.

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Green Wheel

In last week’s column I highlighted some of Peterborough’s hidden treasures – we’re a city full of picturesque places which we sometimes take for granted.

One such attraction is the Green Wheel which provides over 45 miles of continuous cycle routes around the city with ‘spokes’ extending from the city centre to the ‘rim’ of the wheel.

The route is an essential part of the local highway network and some sections form part of the National Cycle Network.

We’ve awarded Milestone Infrastructure Limited £750k to deliver improvement works as some sections are in need of resurfacing. Parts of the route have a high volume of users which could be widened to accommodate pedestrians as well as cyclist travelling in both directions. Some of the funding will also be used to address safety issues along the routes.

Before the work is carried out we will consult with stakeholders, but we hope to make further announcements soon.

Cost of living crisis

I am extremely proud of the work we are doing to help struggling families in Peterborough – firstly during the pandemic and now as the cost of living rises for everyone.

We’re running a supermarket voucher scheme to help support children during school holidays and I’m delighted that nearly 14,000 youngsters across the city have received them.

Each eligible child will receive two supermarket vouchers worth a total of £45 to cover the summer holiday period. The first of these has already been distributed and the second will be sent by 12 August to the 13,826 children who meet the eligibility criteria.

This represents a 1.3% increase in the number of eligible children since the May half term scheme and reflects the growing number of children on free school meals.

The scheme offers parents vouchers for a choice of supermarkets and they do not need to be used in a single shopping trip. Once claimed the vouchers will last for at least a year. The economic landscape is challenging, but I know that families are grateful for our help. Rest assured that we will continue to do our best for the children and young people of Peterborough.

Council tax energy rebate

On a similar note, I’m pleased to say that that the vast majority of households in Peterborough have now received their council tax energy rebate. The government announced earlier this year that all households in council tax bands A to D would receive a £150 rebate to help with the rising cost of energy bills. So far, 90 per cent of eligible households in Peterborough have had the payment, with a total of £11.5m being distributed.

If anyone is struggling to pay their bills we can help, including through the Household Support Fund which is being targeted towards pensioners. Apply to Age UK CAP on 01733 565032 or email [email protected]

There is also the LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) which is helping residents save money on their energy bills. Applications can be made here or call freephone 0800 060 7567

Finally, I must say a big well done to England’s Lionesses for their fantastic victory on Sunday.

Like many millions of people I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of watching them this summer and what a great example they’ve set to young people playing sport.

I never thought I’d see the day when England beat Germany in a football final, so it’s truly something for us all to savour!