Ely bypass: Campaigners brand scheme 'devastating'

Ely by-pass before (top) and artist's impression of after The council produced images of current view south of Ely and how it could look in the future

Related Stories

Plans for a £30m bypass would "devastate" the Cambridgeshire landscape and views of a cathedral, countryside campaigners have said.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said the county council's plans for Ely needed to be reconsidered.

A consultation is taking place on the scheme, which the council says would reduce congestion south of the city.

It said it believed the benefits would outweigh concerns about visual impact.

The proposed one-mile (1.7km) bypass to the A142, which carries about 15,000 vehicles per day, is the council's preferred option for dealing with the "traffic bottleneck" near Ely's railway station.

'Reduced impact'

It is also considering a "hidden bypass" option with an underpass, that it acknowledged would "impact significantly less" on the landscape surrounding the 900-year-old cathedral.

It said the underpass option would be more expensive and would result in "significant engineering problems... and regular maintenance".

Michael Monk, CPRE chair, said: "The 'Ship of the Fens' [Ely Cathedral] has been one of Cambridgeshire's most loved features for centuries and should not be sacrificed.

"The council... should now be bold and choose a different solution to the road congestion problem."

CPRE members said they would "register a strong objection" to the plans, adding the bypass would have "a devastating effect on the Fenland landscape".

English Heritage has also objected to it on the grounds it would "damage" the area around, and views of, the cathedral.

Councillor Ian Bates, cabinet member for growth and planning at the council, said: "We do understand the bypass will have an impact on the landscape and historical setting of Ely and its cathedral.

"However, this impact has been considered through the design of the new bypass and reduced where possible."

A public consultation takes place until 22 March. If the plans are approved the road could open by 2015.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Cambridgeshire

Weather

Cambridge

21 °C 14 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BlueNew blue

    Meet the artist, showman and inventor who created a colour that had never existed before

Programmes

  • Stranded shipThe Travel Show Watch

    Stranded in the icy Northwest Passage where only the polar bears move freely

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.