£1m business plan will look at improving Peterborough Parkways
Members of the Transport and Infrastructure Committee of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) have approved almost £1m to pay for a business plan which outlines improvements on the A1260 Nene Parkway.
Two Full Business Cases have been approved for the A1260, firstly where it meets Junction 3 of the A1139 Fletton Parkway, and the other at Junction 15 of the A47.
Addressing members at the meeting (Wednesday), Mehmet Ahmed, CPCA Transport Program Manager, said: “Junction 3 of the A1139 where it meets the A1260 is a large, grade-separated junction between two of Peterborough’s busiest strategic roads.
“The junction is a crucial cornerstone of the Parkway Network, connecting the A1139 Fletton Parkway and A1260 Nene Parkway, thus providing the majority of access to south-west Peterborough.
“It is used for trips from across the Peterborough area, and experiences significant peak hour congestion, on the A1260 Nene Parkway and the A1260 ‘The Serpentine’ approaches and is heavily used by trips in the southwest of Peterborough, as it accommodates eastbound, westbound, and northbound trips.
“A large number of facilities, businesses, and residences are also accessed by the southern arm.
“Because of its strategic location, the junction is critical to Peterborough’s growth aspirations.”
At the Outline Business Case stage, the project would require the following:
(a) Extend Junction 31 on-slip to Junction 3;
(b) Add a flare to A1260 Nene Parkway approach to Junction 3 to create a four-lane approach;
(c) Additional 4th lane to circulatory between A1260 Nene Parkway southbound approach and A1139 Fletton Parkway eastbound exit;
(d) Add flare of 150m to A1139 Fletton Parkway westbound off-slip to create a third lane;
(e) Add a third lane to circulatory between A1260 The Serpentine southbound exit and A1260 ‘The Serpentine’ northbound approach;
(f) Add a third lane on A1260 The Serpentine northbound to the north of Hargate Way;
(g) Add flare to A1260 The Serpentine northbound approach to create a four-lane approach;
(h) Add 4th lane to circulatory between A1260 The Serpentine northbound approach and A1139 Fletton Parkway westbound on-slip;
(i) Install traffic signals on the A1260 Nene Parkway approach to Junction 3;
(j) Install traffic signals to A1260 The Serpentine approach to Junction 3.
The Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) being sought has identified these schemes that will provide the necessary increase in highway capacity to unlock congestion and significantly reduce delay at Junction 3, which is a major pinch-point on the network.
This will improve the capacity and operational performance of the Peterborough Parkway system which is crucial to supporting further growth.
Within the Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) there is £8.0m available (£4.5m in 20/21 and £3.5m in 21/22) subject to approval from the Combined Authority Board.
Peterborough City Council requested a drawdown of £500,000 for the Detailed Design and production of the Full Business Case, and this was unanimously approved by the committee members.
Mr Ahmed, went on to say: “Junction 15 is a partially signalised grade separated roundabout (positioned beneath the A47 Trunk Road), which is situated on the western edge of Peterborough’s urban area.
“The junction provides access to the A1260 Nene Parkway, Bretton Way, Thorpe Wood and the A47 Soke Parkway and it too is heavily used by trips between the west of Peterborough and the City Centre, and a significant proportion of north – south trips as it provides access to one of only three river crossings within Peterborough.
“The junction also provides direct access to a major employment centre (Thorpe Wood) and accommodates a large number of peak hour commuter trips to/from this location.
“The Outline Business Case has been completed and the developed scheme will provide the necessary increase in highway capacity to unlock congestion and significantly reduce delay at Junction 15, which is a major pinch-point on the network and this will improve the capacity and operational performance of the Peterborough Parkway system which is crucial to supporting further growth.
“In addition, improvements at Junction 15 are expected to have wider network benefits beyond the Parkway system, particularly to the A605 Oundle Road which experiences congestion as vehicles queue back from the northbound on slip onto the A1260 Nene Parkway (towards Junction 15) during the PM peak hour.”
At the Outline Business Case stage, the project would alleviate the following issues:
(a) queueing on the A1260 Nene Parkway northbound approach to the junction in excess of one-mile affected Junction 32 in the PM peak period;
(b) queueing on the A47 eastbound off-slip that extends back onto the A47 affecting the mainline flow; and
(c) conflicts occurring between the dominant movements at the junction.
The primary objectives of completing the project are:
(a) Tackle congestion and improve journey time reliability
(b) Support Peterborough’s growth agenda and encourage homes and jobs
(c) Create wider economic benefit
Mr Ahmed added: “Through the options development process, fourteen options were identified. These were sifted against Department for Transport (DfT) Early Assessment and Sifting Tool (EAST) criteria which reduced the number to a shortlist of nine.
“These were then tested in the transport modelling software in order to identify the better performing options in terms of journey times and delay only.
“Each option was tested using 2021, 2026 and 2031 forecast flows which further reduced the shortlist to five better performing options.
“However, of these, three options were not recommended for further assessment as they either did not resolve the issues fully or transferred the problem to another junction.
“Of the remaining two, one option was identified as the better performing.”
At the Outline Business Case stage this option has been further developed. The improvements consist of the following:
(a) Widening of A1260 Nene Parkway northbound to three lanes from Junction 33;
(b) Three-lane circulatory on Junction 15 between the A1260 Nene Parkway approach and the Bretton Way exit;
(c) Replacement of the pedestrian footbridge over the A1260 Nene Parkway (to facilitate the creation of a third northbound lane);
(d) Extension of the flare on the Thorpe Wood to Junction 15 by approximately 30 metres;
(e) Zebra crossing over Thorpe Wood close to the existing bus stops; and
(f) Reconstruction of the footpath between Thorpe Road Bridge and Longthorpe.
Peterborough City Council requested a further drawdown of £470,000 for the Detailed Design and production of the Full Business Case, and this too was unanimously approved by the committee members.
Metro Mayor, James Palmer said: “It’s very important that we all learn from what has happened in Peterborough because it is a superb example of what can be achieved if you put advanced infrastructure ahead of housing delivery, everything thereafter happens much more smoothly because of that.
“I’m not saying necessarily that we should look to the car as the provider for our infrastructure incentive, as those who looked to develop new-towns like Peterborough did in the 1960s and 1970s, but we can do the same with CAM Metro as Peterborough has achieved with its forward thinking.
“Members have already mentioned that Peterborough is the third or fourth fastest growing city in England – but when it was formed the population was only about 30,000 and now exceeds 200,000 with that growth seemingly achieved much more smoothly than in other places”.
By Rob Alexander
Local Democracy Reporting Service