Investment in infrastructure is needed in South East Cambridgeshire and I have been taking action to ensure that our local transport links are improved.
Junctions 37 (A14/A142) and 38 (A14/A11)
I have been campaigning alongside the previous Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, neighbouring MP Matt Hancock, and Cllrs Steve Count and Colin Noble for investment in Junctions 37 and 38 of the A14.
These junctions serve an area in which there is significant economic and population growth – East Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing districts in one of the fastest growing regions in the UK, which is delivering significant numbers of new jobs and considerable demand for additional housing. It is therefore essential to invest in improving capacity at these junctions to alleviate severe congestion and ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place.
Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the country, and as such, improvements to the A10 are vital. It is crucial that our infrastructure keeps pace with other developments, and with significant new housing developments planned in Waterbeach, Ely and across the Cambridgeshire region, it is important that our local infrastructure and communities can withstand and support this anticipated influx of growth.
Since being elected as MP for South East Cambridgeshire, I have been consistently contacted by constituents with concerns about the delays and traffic on the A10. Residents of villages in the constituency have also expressed concern about their communities being used as a rat-runs by drivers to avoid the A10 at rush hour.
That is why I have been pressing the case for upgrades for several years, most recently securing £2 million from the UK Government for a study to look at the possible upgrade options.
I am also pleased that funding has been pledged by the Government to improve the road after savings were made from scrapping HS2.
Ely Junction Upgrade
The Ely Area Improvements Programme (EAIP) intends to solve chronic capacity and connectivity issues on the region’s railways by unlocking the potential of Ely Station to help deliver jobs and enhanced economic growth to the Eastern Region. If delivered, it would increase capacity by 30% through an increase in passenger and freight services, and return £4.89 on every £1 invested.
After pressing the Government with neighbouring MPs, I have secured national funding for upgrades. More details are to follow.
BP Roundabout Crossing in Witchford
The A10/A142 BP roundabout is a well-used route for members of the public, yet it is lacking a crossing for safe passage.
I have pressed for one for for several years now, but unfortunately, a series of delays have stalled the progress of the study group.
Recently, I wrote to the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to highlight how important it is that the project gets over the line without further postponement.
You can sign my petition to show your support for swift action on the 'Petitions' page of my website.
Making the A1421 safer
My constituents in Haddenham, Wilburton, Stretham and Wicken have faced risks to their safety from heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) cutting through their villages via the A1421.
I am supporting Haddenham Parish Council to deter HGVs and introduce additional road safety measures in the Haddenham area to protect residents.
If you feel strongly about this, issue you can also support my petition on the 'Petitions' page of my website.
I recognise how important access to a reliable broadband connection is for my constituents and since I was elected in 2015, I have campaigned to ensure that the whole of the constituency can access superfast broadband (defined as speeds of over 24mbps). In particular, I have worked with Openreach and the government-funded Connecting Cambridgeshire programme to eliminate broadband not spots, and it is encouraging that 97% of my constituency can now access such speeds.
Clearly, though, there remains more to be done, and there is now a focus on prioritising investment in gigabit-capable broadband. The Government is working with industry to target a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025, with the ambition to accelerate roll-out further to get as close to 100% as possible. Currently, the UK-wide figure for Gigabit-capable coverage is 72%, whereas in South East Cambridgeshire it is 65%.
I am, therefore, pleased that Cambridgeshire is among the first areas in the country to benefit from the Government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit scheme bringing gigabit speeds to harder to reach areas, with rollout of improvements now underway. In March 2023, CityFibre were awarded a £69m contract by the Government to upgrade 45,000 homes across Cambridgeshire, including many in my constituency.