Collisions on the A47 in Peterborough could reduce by 50 per cent under plans to dual a stretch of the road.
Highways England today revealed its latest proposals to dual the road between Wansford and Sutton which have gone out for consultation.
The proposals follow years of calls for the work to be carried out after a number of serious accidents, including the crash in 2013 which killed couple Stephen and Samantha Durber.
Speaking at the Town Hall in Bridge Street at the start of the consultation, Claudia Wegener, senior project director at Highways England, said: “The A47 is part of the strategic road network. It’s important that the road is improved so we can support economic growth and improve the journey times and make it safer for people.
“The journey time saving we are predicting by 2037 is over four minutes in the morning rush hour on the eastbound stretch, which is quite a significant saving for people.
“Improved access for local residents will increase road safety. The prediction is for about a 50 per cent reduction in personal collision rates.
“Safety is the number one imperative of Highways England.”
The scheme is expected to start in the autumn of 2020, with the road open in the winter of 2021/22.
The cost is currently expected to be between £50 million to £100 million.
Last week Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer sent a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond calling for investment in 20 key transport infrastructure projects across East Anglia to address the years of underinvestment in the region and boost the economy.
One of the projects is for the full dualling of the A47 between Lowestoft to Peterborough at an estimated cost of £1.4 billion which the mayor argues will improve journey times and “encourage inward investment in higher value employment sectors in the north of Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk”.
Responding to that, Ms Wegener replied: “Of course we understand there are calls for the full A47 to be dualled. That needs to have a strong business case. At the time of the last feasibility study there was not enough evidence for the justification for spending that amount of money.
“Mayor Palmer is looking to put together a business case. If the case was to dual the whole road it will be taken to government to be reviewed.”
The option selected for the A47 will see a new stretch of dual carriageway built around half a mile to the north of the existing A47 at the western end, before crossing to the south at the eastern end to join the existing dual carriageway at Nene Way.
There will also be a dedicated slip road from the A1 southbound to the A47 eastbound to alleviate congestion at the junction, while at the opposite end a new bridge will provide access to Sacrewell Farm.
Another bridge will carry the A47 over the disused railway line west of Sutton Heath Road. The new dual carriageway will continue along to the south of the existing road and connect in to an enlarged Nene Way roundabout near Sutton.
Once complete, this new one and a half mile stretch of dual carriageway on the A47 will create a continuous 10 mile stretch of dual carriageway from junctions with the A1 to the A16, northeast of Peterborough.
Junction improvements at the A141 junction in Guyhirn are also due to be carried out by Highways England.
You can take part in the consultation, which runs until 11.59pm on Monday, October, 29 by visiting: https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a47-wansford-to-sutton-dualling, by e-mailing your response to A47WansfordtoSuttonRIS@highwaysengland.co.uk, or by writing to FREEPOST A47 Wansford to Sutton.
There will also be four public events at which you can have your say and speak to members of Highways England. These will be at:
. St Michael and All Angels Church, Nene Way, Sutton, Peterborough, PE5 7XD, on Saturday, September 29, from 11am to 5pm.
. Haycock Hotel, Wansford, Peterborough, PE8 6JA, on Monday, October 1, from 1pm to 8pm.
. Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre, Thornhaugh, Peterborough, PE8 6HJ, on Thursday, October 4, from 1pm to 8pm.
. St John’s Square, Exchange Street, Peterborough, PE1 1XB, on Saturday, October 6, from 11am to 5pm.