Approval to push forward A16 Norwood improvement

Today’s meeting of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Board  moved forward planned improvements of the A16 at Norwood – expected to unlock substantial housing development and growth in Peterborough – by unanimously approving the drawdown of money to produce the Outline Business Case.

The recommendation, from the Board’s own transport and infrastructure committee, was proposed to the Board from the chair by Mayor James Palmer, and seconded by Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council.  

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee had previously unanimously approved the strategic outline business case and agreed to recommend the Combined Authority Board gives money to take the project to the next stage.

Today, the Board approved the recommended drawdown of £630,000 to produce the more detailed Outline Business Case. Members gave whole-hearted support for the A16 scheme, which had been described by Mayor James Palmer at the transport committee as a ‘common sense’ development which will reduce traffic congestion and emissions, help bring forward some 2000 homes and enable major growth for Peterborough.

The Outline Business Case – OBC – has been costed at £630,000 comprising surveys, traffic modelling, staff time and a third-party independent review. The OBC is expected to take approximately a year to complete.

The proposed A16 improvements will complement Peterborough City Council aims to transform Carr Dyke, the Roman towpath, which runs from Peakirk to Eye, and is mainly used by walkers and for grazing horses and cattle, into a cycleway.

The Peterborough Local Plan (adopted July 2019) sets out the overall vision, priorities, and objectives for Peterborough up to 2036. The updated strategy requires delivery of 19,440 new homes and 17,600 new jobs by 2036.

The 80-hectare Norwood site will provide at least 2000 dwellings, a local centre and primary school. The delivery of the development has been split into two phases. The first phase (2019-2031) includes up to 870 dwellings.

The second phase of development (2026-2031) will complete development of the  Norwood site, including the remaining homes.

Adjacent to the Norwood site is the Paston Reserve Urban Extension which is set to provide further housing. The strategic outline business case has already set out the case for transport improvements in the A16 Norwood area. It has assessed a number of options against the project’s primary objectives: 

  • Tackle congestion and improve journey times along the A16 and on the primary approaches to the A16/A47/Welland Road Roundabout;
  • Support Peterborough’s growth agenda to ensure that the planned employment and housing growth at Norwood can be realised;
  • Limit impact on the local environment and improve biodiversity.

The SOBC concluded that several interventions are needed to improve congestion, safety and enable growth in the area. The package includes:

  • Closure of Newborough Road access onto A47; Dualling of A16 between the A16/A47/Welland Road Roundabout and the Norwood Development Access;
  • Signalisation of A16/A47/Welland Road Roundabout on the A16 southbound approach;
  •  A 50-metre flare added to the A47 westbound approach to provide additional capacity for left turning traffic to Welland Road;
  • Dedicated Left Turn Lane (LTL) from the A47 eastbound to the A16 northbound.