Cambridgeshire

Ely bypass plans could be considered by Eric Pickles

Artist's impression of the Ely bypass Image copyright Cambridgeshire County Council
Image caption East Cambridgeshire District Council backed the plans but the county council is yet to decide on the proposals

Plans to build a £30m bypass around a Cambridgeshire city could be considered by the government.

Proposals for the road south of Ely were designed to solve bottlenecks caused by a level crossing.

East Cambridgeshire District Council backed the plans, but campaign groups claim the bypass would harm views of the city's cathedral.

If the county council also approves the proposals, they will be considered by Secretary of State Eric Pickles.

He will then decide whether to grant planning permission for the scheme.

A report given to the planning committee said the public benefit to transport in the area outweighs the harm to a heritage area.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire County Council
Image caption Campaign groups opposed to the bypass say it will block views of the cathedral

But Michael Monk, from the Council for the Protection of Rural England, said: "When you approach the cathedral from the south, you see it floating on its island on the Fens. But instead you'll see a huge viaduct, running right across."

A survey found the level crossing is closed for up to 35 minutes every hour, with congestion likely to increase as more trains pass through Ely following rail improvements.

The one mile (1.7km) A142-A10 link would be paid for by Cambridgeshire County Council along with contributions from East Cambridgeshire District Council, Network Rail and other bodies.

More on this story