The Combined Authority Board today approved the release of over half a million pounds to complete the March Area Transport Study Full Business Case – and Members also put another half-million towards active travel in the Fenland market town.

In a vote to keep up the pace of the March revamp, Members agreed to release £662,000 to complete the second part of the MATS Full Business Case – FBC2 – for St Peter’s Road, Peas Hill and Twenty Foot Road – and agreed to reallocate the savings from a £200k underspend on the March ‘Quick Wins’ projects to cover utilities diversion for the Broad Street scheme.

Elements in the Broad Street scheme were speeded up to accelerate delivery of tasks to ensure the Future High Street Fund deadlines could be met, enabling the project team to plan for construction in early 2023 – subject to December approval of the Broad Street FBC, FBC1.

The £662,000 will allow utility and procurement costs for St Peters Road, Peas Hill, and Twenty Foot Road to be speeded up like Broad Street, enabling the same level of cost certainty in FBC2 as in FBC1 for Broad Street. The £562k does not represent new or additional costs but enables the project team to bring forward activities.

The Board also noted progress on the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategy for the March Area Transport Study and unanimously approved the drawdown of £562,800 to push forward work on the strategy, with its green dividend of benefits for public health and the environment.

Members received a report summarising the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategy as part of MATS with a request to draw down £562,800 to undertake further work.

The Pedestrian and Cycling Strategy was undertaken in 2019 and identified a range of potential schemes to improve walking and cycling provision across the March area.

Since its completion, some of the identified scheme recommendations have been completed or superseded as new schemes have been identified via the CCC Local Cycling and Walking Initiative, the Government’s own ‘Gear Change’ initiative, the Future High Street Fund proposals and through the development of schemes identified in the MATS Quick Wins and the main MATS project.

Following a review, 28 schemes of the original 90 have been identified for initial work following the feasibility and assessment process.  Footways, cycle routes, no-parking provisions, new and improved wayfinding signs, pedestrian crossings and dropped kerbs are among the safety and enhancement projects up for development.