Cambridgeshire

Viaduct scheme at Ely level crossing, costing £28m, set to be backed

Proposals to push forward a £28m road and viaduct scheme to help ease congestion at a level crossing in Ely are set to be backed by councillors.

Cambridgeshire County Council's cabinet is being recommended to support the drawing-up plans for the A142.

A council report backs the road and the 33ft (10m)-high viaduct over river and rail lines, despite concerns that it would damage wildlife sites.

The report to Tuesday's meeting says funding options are being considered.

'Habitat loss'

It says 81% (1,368 residents) of local people who responded to a consultation exercise backed the new road and 500m (1,600ft) long viaduct which will span the railway line and River Great Ouse.

The aim is to make the road safer and decrease congestion in the Ely Station area.

But the report said the scheme could also lead to "significant habitat loss" as the road crosses agricultural land and wildlife sites.

A council spokesman said funding could come from "prudent approved borrowing", and "possible contributions" from developers and government.

A survey carried out in 2010 found that the level crossing barriers at Ely were down for an average of 35 minutes in every hour on a weekday, resulting in traffic queues of up to 100m (330ft) several times a day.

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