One of the many aspects that makes Peterborough a great place to do business is our fantastic road system and proximity to cities such as London and Birmingham and the east coast ports.
It’s essential for businesses to have this kind of connectivity and it’s also important that our residents are able to get to work, school and go about their daily lives without being sat in congestion, whether travelling by car, bike or bus.
That is why we have spent millions of pounds in recent years upgrading our road network so that people can navigate our city with relative ease and why we are planning our transport system of the future.
I’m not saying we are congestion free, in this day and age with the number of vehicles on our roads that’s impossible, but at peak times you can travel from one end of our city to the other relatively quickly when compared to the likes of Cambridge and Coventry. At peak times I can get into Peterborough city centre from my home in Glinton within 20 minutes.
In recent years we’ve increased capacity at a number of locations, including the Fletton Parkway, junction 20 of the A47 with the A15 and junction 5 of the Frank Perkins parkway at Boongate. We’re currently working on the A15/A47 junction 18 to add an additional lane, road crossings, and to strengthen and repair the footbridge.
Without these investments in our roads and crossings the city could not have grown the way it has in recent years, which has brought with it additional investment, jobs and housing.
Later this month I will be attending a reception at Parliament hosted by Brandon Lewis MP to support the campaign to dual another important route for our city, the A47 to Lowestoft.
This road joins the city with the east coast and is of national strategic importance, linking the Midlands with Eastern seaports and acts as an economic artery that runs through Peterborough.
Dualling the remaining sections would bring huge benefits, reducing journey times and congestion and supporting our vision to see more local economic growth.
This is just one of the projects we are supporting and leading to plan our transport system for the future to ensure our roads, bridges and crossings can cope with increasing levels of demand.
As part of this we are considering the possibility of having a rapid transport system here, such as underground or overground light rail, if the money was available to do so. This isn’t something we need now, but it might be in the future as the city continues to grow and develop.
We also have funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to investigate the potential for a number of other improvements including the Nene Parkway junction 15, dualling a short section of the A16 to unlock the Norwood development and a series of improvements to support the university on the Embankment.
If these schemes are recommended, we will then look to secure funding to make them happen, so that Peterborough can remain one of the easier to navigate cities in the UK.
Cycling races – the Tour of Cambridge
My wife Barbara and I were pleased to be asked once again to start the Tour of Cambridgeshire cycling races at the weekend and award medals.
Thousands of people of all ages took part in the races, cheered on by people along the route. There were a few competitors who must have been my age, which is commendable.
It’s a fantastic event and a great way to showcase the county and our willingness to support spectacles such as this.
Finally, Eid Mubarak to those residents who are celebrating the end of Ramadan. Enjoy this special time spent with family and friends and I send you all good wishes for the year ahead.