Will new Great Haddon development cause A15 traffic ‘hell’?
It will deliver more than 5,000 homes, new schools and employment land, but the Great Haddon development has united local residents who believe new road links will cause traffic “hell” on the A15.
It has been a bumpy ride to this point for the huge project, with many long delays, something which people living in Hampton and Yaxley fear could become a familiar feeling in years to come when the first homes finally get built.
While there is an acceptance among many that the 5,350 properties are needed to meet Peterborough’s rising population, there is considerable anger at the layout of a new ‘loop road’ in Yaxley to serve the huge development.
This includes two new traffic junctions around 500 yards apart on the A15 London Road which it is believed will only add to the current rush hour congestion in the area, particularly around Hampton where new houses and new schools are being built at a fast pace.
Stephen and Linda Stannard live off the A15 in Yaxley, near the Great Haddon site, and have seen trees uprooted and left at the back of their home.
They said: “There will be more traffic trying to get out with the road getting busier and busier. It can hardly handle the traffic it already has.
“Going into town or the A1 will be hell for us as we won’t be able to get out, and there will be a lot more accidents.”
Campaigners claim there will be eight sets of traffic lights within 2.3 miles of each other on the A15 between Norman Cross and the Hampton Centre.
Many motorists from the ‘old’ part of Yaxley currently access the road - which links the A1M and Peterborough - from Waterslade Road which is one way.
However, under the plans for the Yaxley Loop Road, which were recently approved by Peterborough City Council, motorists using the road will have to join traffic from the A15 by a new set of traffic lights at a junction.
For those then choosing to head towards the A1M, 500 yards further on they will hit another set of traffic lights with the option of continuing on the road or turning right into Great Haddon.
There are also concerns at plans to introduce another roundabout near Norman Cross, adjacent to the existing roundabout over Junction 16 of the motorway.
This will enable access by HGVs into the Peterborough Gateway development via New Road.
Residents are also annoyed at a new northern junction between the planned loop road and London Road which will be built opposite houses at the northern end of Yaxley - again leading to concerns over congestion.
Concerns over traffic were raised at a recent ‘ask the leader’ session with Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, leader of Peterborough City Council.
Asked: “How will the people of Yaxley get access to the A1M in rush hour after the Great Haddon Yaxley Loop Road is built?” he replied: “We’ve received a lot of questions on this subject. I know it’s a big concern for residents in the Yaxley area.”
Cllr Fitzgerald then handed over to the council’s head of planning Nick Harding, who said: “The residents of Yaxley will have to, when using that route, pass through a second set of traffic lights.
“In some sense there will be an increase in the level of inconvenience, but it needs to be remembered the amount of traffic travelling down the A15 through the Broadway junction will be hugely less than it currently is, and therefore the wait that people will have at the Broadway/A15 traffic lights will be a lot less than it currently is.
“So the level of increase in inconvenience is going to be modest.”
He added that the loop road “won’t cause road congestion or delays of significance”.
This, though, has not alleviated Yaxley Parish Council, whose chairman Rodney Butcher said: “The parish council are disappointed that their concerns over the proposed loop road were not addressed.
“In summary, these related to returning Waterslade Road to a bi-directional flow and adding a large (not mini) roundabout at that junction as we felt that the proposed traffic junction is too close to function properly without the road being widened to four lanes.
“We had asked for a dedicated left turn filter lane for traffic wishing to enter Yaxley when approaching from Peterborough and this again has been ignored. Concerns were also raised about having two sets of traffic lights in close proximity.
“The A15 is currently congested, especially during peak times and when maintenance work is carried out on the A1 junctions and the traffic is diverted through the village.
“It also happens when the A1 has to be shut after road traffic accidents.
“These road diversions have caused havoc in and around Serpentine Green and through the village, and with the additional traffic from Great Haddon this will be cause gridlock.”
Cllr Fitzgerald during his virtual Q&A said the 5,350 homes are “much needed for families working both in and around Peterborough - so Yaxley as well,” adding: “We have a terrible need for new homes for families. I think it’s a good thing.”
Funding of the loop road and other developer contributions have been significant factors in the project’s long delay, with the standstill only coming to an end thanks to £4.5 million of government funding for the road to be delivered.
As recently revealed by the Peterborough Telegraph, works on the first homes are due to begin this autumn, with the first ones expected to come on the market in 2023 - 12 years later than first anticipated.
The land is owned by O&H Properties, Marlborough Oasis and Barratt Homes, and aside from the new homes there will be employment leading to 9,000 jobs, four schools, three shopping centres and sports facilities.
A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “We are aware of some concerns around plans for the Yaxley Loop Road as part of the Great Haddon development, going along London Road and through Yaxley.
“It is our view that traffic to and from the development will not need to go through Yaxley and as such should not cause a significant increase in traffic in the area.
“Furthermore, the traffic calming measures in Yaxley will work as a deterrent and, with the widening of Fletton Parkway, the A1(M)/Fletton Parkway route it is likely to become a much more attractive route for through traffic into and out of Peterborough.”