Shailesh Vara MP recently chaired an online meeting to discuss a way forward to ensure the provision of a flyover on the A1 at the Wittering junction.
The meeting was attended by Cllr John Bradshaw and Cllr Geoff Dunckley of Wittering Parish Council; Cllr Peter Hiller, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Commercial Strategy and Investments, Peterborough City Council; Martin Fellows, Regional Director from Highways England; as well as other representatives from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Highways England and Peterborough City Council.
Mr Vara has been campaigning for many years for a flyover at this dangerous junction in Wittering and has previously raised the issue with Government Ministers as well as Highways England.
For any major improvement works to be carried out on the strategic road network, they must first be included in the Government’s Road Investment Strategy (RIS). This strategy sets out a long-term plan for future investment and organisations such as Highways England play a key role in presenting evidence for investment in the strategic road network to the Department for Transport for their consideration.
The next programme of work for the period 2025-30 is currently being prepared and the purpose of the meeting was to engage with Highways England to help them prepare a report which includes the building of a flyover at the Wittering junction. Mr Vara made the case for the flyover as did Wittering Parish Council, Peterborough City Council and the Combined Authority. The meeting was very constructive, and it was agreed that all parties will work closely together so as to put forward the best possible case.
Following the meeting Mr Vara said:
“This has been a long running campaign and despite strong representations in the past from many people, we have not managed to secure a flyover. The pressure for a flyover continues to increase and I very much hope that his renewed coordinated approach will meet with success.
“This was a very good and constructive meeting which gave Wittering Parish Council, Peterborough City Council and the Combined Authority an opportunity to engage with Highways England and to discuss the best way forward.
“I am grateful to all those who attended and especially to Martin Fellows and Simon Amor from Highways England.”
Cllr John Bradshaw of Wittering Parish Council added:
"It was very encouraging, in these difficult times, to take part in a positive Wittering A1 flyover meeting. It was organised and chaired by our MP. The meeting was attended by representatives of Wittering Parish Council, Peterborough City Council, the Combined Authority and Highways England and produced an action plan for the creation of a business case for the much needed A1 flyover at Wittering"
Cllr Peter Hiller, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Investments and Economic Strategy at Peterborough City Council commented:
"For a long time the Council has been campaigning for a new flyover at the A1 Wittering junction so we are very pleased that further discussions are taking place between all the key stakeholders and Highways England. The village lost its regular bus service because of the safety concerns with this junction and the amount of growth that can occur in Wittering is limited until a new junction is constructed. Further meetings have been arranged between all the key partners so that we can put a robust case to Government to fund this much needed junction improvement."
Mayor of the Combined Authority, James Palmer said:
“The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority is committed to connecting communities and bringing investment into left behind areas. We included the Wittering Flyover in our Local Transport Plan for that very reason. We are committed to working with the Parish Council and Peterborough City Council to put the evidential case together that will bring forward this long promised, long awaited improvement.”
Martin Fellows of Highways England commented:
“Our network is a vital part of everyone’s life and we’ll never stop searching for ways to improve on safety and reliability. We always welcome feedback and suggestions as to ways this can be achieved, and the meeting with Mr Vara and local stakeholders proved to be very useful. We will continue working with local representatives to see how we can improve safety at this location.”