Peterborough MP demands A1 flyover be built at Wittering to stop motorists using 'dangerous' junction

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A new push is being made to build a flyover on the A1 at Wittering to stop motorists from having to use a “dangerous” junction.

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara has been lobbying the county’s metro mayor James Palmer to help get the flyover built at the accident blackspot to end decades of misery for the villagers.

An accident on the A1 near Wittering

An accident on the A1 near Wittering

He has also now been granted a meeting with transport minister Jesse Norman to discuss the issue.

Currently, access to the village for motorists travelling southbound on the A1 is provided by a junction which requires traffic to turn across the northbound carriageway of the busy road.

Plans for a flyover, or a similar scheme, had been made a priority by the Government in 2002, but in 2008 the Highways Agency (now Highways England) decided to scrap the project after research suggested the junction would not provide value for money.

However, during a Peterborough City Council planning meeting in 2017 to discuss plans for 190 new homes in Wittering, it was revealed there had been 30 accidents, including two fatalities, within 150m of the A1 junction between 2012 and 2016.

However, Highways England had not raised any objections to the plans due to safety concerns on the road.

Mr Vara said: “This is a very important issue which has been long running.

“I’m determined to continue to work with the local community and put as much pressure as possible on all agencies concerned, especially the Department for Transport, so we can have the funds necessary to build the flyover.

“I had a very good meeting with Mayor Palmer and was delighted he has agreed to give his support to our endeavours to secure the flyover.”

Mr Vara has also been in contact with the Department for Transport, including the Secretary of State Chris Grayling, as well as Highways England, RAF Wittering and Peterborough City Council to try and push the project forward.

And today (Thursday) he raised the issue in Parliament where Mr Norman agreed to meet him and any councillors he wished to bring along.

Mr Vara added: “I am grateful to the minister for agreeing to meet with me and various members of the local community with a view to seeing if we can secure the flyover.”

Dick Roffe, chair of Wittering Parish Council, said: “We would be over the moon if they get the flyover.

“We’ve been campaigning to get it for the last 30 to 40 years.

“Crossing the northbound carriageway is very, very dangerous and there’s been no end of accidents. People have been killed.

“Everywhere else got a flyover but we didn’t.”

People coming out of Wittering wanting to go south on the A1 have to go north to the Carpenter’s Lodge junction before coming back around.

Mr Vara met with Mayor Palmer, leader of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, earlier this week.

The mayor admitted it was the first time he had been made aware of the campaign and that there were budget restrictions at the combined authority, but he said: “Shailesh wants me to help him and we will do whatever we can.”

Highways England has previously stated that a flyover will not be considered before 2020.

The Peterborough Telegraph contacted Highways England yesterday morning but had not received a response at the time of going to press.