by Gareth Wilson on 11 September, 2009
Tory plans for a £25 million Southern Bypass for Ely have been shot down by the government.
It has ordered council chiefs to remove all reference to the road from future plans for the city and look at alternatives instead.
The move is a major blow to East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Tory administration which had hinged its whole Masterplan on the new bypass.
And the decision, by an inspector appointed by the government to review the council’s Core Strategy which will form part of the district’s Local Development Framework, is binding.
Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, Councillor Ian Allen said: “This is a major blow to the Master Plan. The whole project hinged on the Southern Bypass and now the government has ordered that it be discarded.
“We have said, time and time again, that we should be fully investigating the alternatives to solving Ely’s traffic problems and now common sense has prevailed.
“Without this road, the Tories’ Masterplan is dead in the water and must be redrawn.”
The inspector said that, following representations from English Heritage and taking into account the impact on the landscape setting of Ely, reference to the Ely Southern Bypass should be deleted and replaced with more flexible wording for major improvements to the A142.
Ely North and East County Councillor, Nigel Bell said: “This road has been turned down twice for funding by central government and last year EERA judged it nearly last out of the 119 schemes submitted for the region.
“The inspector has now put the final nail in its coffin. Even the Tories must now recognise that the current scheme is dead in the water. Their obsession wiith the scheme to the exclusion of all others has meant they have refused to do anything to improve traffic flow at the railway bridge and crossing.”