Plans for major A47 and A16 works in Peterborough progress

Plans for a series of works on the A47 and A16 in Peterborough due to the building of nearly 3,000 new homes are being progressed.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 4:42 pm

Under the proposals the A16 would be dualled between the A16/A47/Welland Road Roundabout and the new Norwood development site, while access from Newborough Road onto the A47 would be closed.

In addition, a dedicated left turn lane from the A47 eastbound to the A16 northbound would be introduced, while further capacity would be created on the A47 westbound for traffic turning left to Welland Road and the A16/A47/Welland Road Roundabout would be signalised on the A16 southbound.

The proposed works - which are anticipated to cost £6.6 million - are aimed at improving congestion and safety in an area earmarked for large expansion this decade.

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A site plan of some of the new housing

Two projects are currently being progressed, one of which is for 2,000 homes and a local centre and primary school at Norwood.

This is due to see 870 dwellings on land off Newborough Road (known as the Leeds Farm development), as well as the new centre and school, being built between 2019 and 2031.

The second phase, which will see the remaining homes built, is due to take place between 2026 and 2031.

Moreover, adjacent to the Norwood site (to the west of Newborough Road) is the Paston Reserve development where 87 homes have already been built.

In total, the site will include 945 homes, a local centre and new primary and secondary schools.

A new access roundabout with the A16 and a new access junction with Newborough Road are due to be funded by the developers, connected by an internal road, which will provide residents with direct access to the A16.

The schemes are needed due to: extensive queues and delays on the A16, queueing on the A47 and a high accident rate at the A16/A47/Welland Road Roundabout, according to a new review.

The proposed road schemes are being progressed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority - the county’s mayoral authority - which funded an initial assessment of the plans carried out by Skanska.

The public body’s board has now approved a more detailed assessment of the projects - at a cost of £630,000 - which is expected to take around a year to complete.

It said: “The proposed A16 improvements will complement Peterborough City Council’s aim to transform Carr Dyke, the Roman towpath, which runs from Peakirk to Eye and is mainly used by walkers and for grazing horses and cattle, into a cycleway.”

The combined authority was set up in 2017 as part of a devolution deal between local councils and the Government and has millions of pounds to spend on infrastructure projects.

If the schemes go ahead they are due to be funded by the body led by Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer.

The next review will look into the proposed changes in more detail, with detailed design expected to be finished by May 2023.

It is then anticipated that the Newborough Road access onto the A47 will be closed off in 2024, with construction of the remaining schemes taking place in 2027.

The report by Skanska said there is a “strong strategic and economic case” for the schemes.

The Norwood and Paston Reserve development sites are bordered to the west by the A15 Paston Parkway, to the east by the A16 and to the south by the A47, and are intersected by Newborough Road.

According to the Skanska review, the A16/A47/Welland Road Roundabout is “operating over capacity with significant queueing and delays during the AM peak hour”.

This is “exacerbated by a high number of U-turning vehicles coming from Newborough Road”.

The report adds: “If the transport infrastructure is not improved and increased transport capacity is not provided it will impact the delivery of the proposed development.”

The A47/Newborough Road junction is a left in/left out only junction, so any vehicle from Newborough Road destined for Peterborough must U-turn at the roundabout with vehicles on the busier A16 and A47 westbound movements having to stop and give way.

There is said to already be a high accident rate, with the majority taking place on “either the circulatory or the approaches close to the give way line of the roundabout, with most being a result of either failing to look properly or misjudging the speed of the other vehicle.

“All recorded serious accidents occur on the A47 (eastbound and westbound) and Welland Road approaches close to the give way line.”

A failure to make improvements is likely to lead to more accidents, it is noted, as well as further delays.

The report states that land to the east of the A16 is identified as a being a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is an important wildlife site.

It also revealed that tunnelling Newborough Road under the A47 had been looked at but dismissed. 