Innovative “Through-about” marks first phase of Southern Gateway to Alconbury Weald

03/08/2018

Plans for the first phase of the next large piece of infrastructure for Alconbury Weald have been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council.

The plans detail an innovative “through-about” which will form the first part of the Southern Gateway Access. The Gateway will form a direct connection between Huntingdon and Alconbury Weald from the A141, and its innovative design will enable prioritised bus and cycle connections between the growing community and the town.

The innovative design for the “through-about” – which would be the first of its kind in the area – has been developed with input from the County Council’s technical transport team, and is being submitted first to ensure a sensible time to work through the technical details of putting this fairly large piece of infrastructure onto the A141. Further applications will follow in the next few weeks which will bring forward the internal roads connecting the Through-about to the new station area, and up to the first phase of development. This will mean that the overall road, bus and cycle framework can be agreed and then delivered in one go.

The Access represents the fourth access point set out within the original Outline Application for the development, including the main Boulevard entrance; a construction and HCV entrance to the north of the site; and the initial residential entrance for the first phase of development at Swynford Road, by the Primary School. With the other three accesses in place, the team have been working up the exact line and nature of the fourth connection in collaboration with transport partners, and drawing on international examples. The design aims to deliver additional capacity on the existing road, while prioritising public transport and cycle connections to the new development. The innovative “Through-about” design will be the first of its kind in Cambridgeshire.

The detailed Planning Application includes:

- a new 3 arm signalised roundabout sitting within the Alconbury Weald site, which will enable the existing through flow of the A141 to continue throughout the construction of the new network until it is opened up.

- a priority bus lane through the central island, on the eastern approach together with selective vehicle detection giving public transport a priority route through traffic, in both directions.

- a 4m wide toucan crossing of the A141, which will provide a connection to Bridleway 21 for the first time, as well as provide a high quality and safe crossing between Alconbury Weald and Huntingdon, connecting to pedestrian and cycle routes.

The “through-about” uses controlled signals to ensure a priority for buses and will establish a prioritised bus system through the new development for some of the Route B services. Service to the Stukeleys will not be affected by the new route, and when the full route is in place it will form part of a significant increase in bus services to the development and surrounding villages.

The application is the first of a number which will open up the southern end of the development, and then ensure a connection to the new homes and business at Alconbury Weald - initially using the existing road network on the airfield, and gradually being replaced by new infrastructure coming forward over the next few months and years.

The connection will enable a link to the planned Railway station at Alconbury Weald on the East Coast Mainline, creating the main transport hub for the new development and surrounding area. Significant capacity has been structured in to the design work to future proof it for the planned growth set out in the Local Plan currently being progressed for Huntingdonshire. It will measure 70 metres across, and include significant landscaping as part of the works to provide an attractive southern gateway entrance into Alconbury Weald.

Tim Leathes, Development Director for site owners and developers Urban&Civic, said:

“The Southern Gateway represents a key milestone in opening up the southern end of the site. We are bringing this forward ahead of schedule, supported by Homes England and working in partnership with the local authorities. The access is the starting point of a public transport and cycle connection, running as a central spine through the development and connecting in time to The Boulevard which makes up the tree-lined entrance to the Enterprise Zone on the A1/A14 interchange. This is another step for us in creating Alconbury Weald as one of the best connected places in the country to live and work”.

The application will also ensure a more direct road link between the development and Huntingdon, reducing traffic currently using Ermine Street through Great and Little Stukeley. As part of the broader transport investment from Alconbury Weald, and working alongside the opening up of the Southern Gateway, a £1million scheme of environmental enhancements and traffic calming will also be installed along this stretch of road over the Summer and Autumn. The work is scheduled to start mid August and last for 21 weeks.

For further information on the Throughabout please visit the Huntingdonshire District Council Planning Portal at https://publicaccess.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/online-applications/ and look for reference 18/01577/REM. Or contact Rebecca Britton on 01480 413141 / rbritton@urbanandcivic.com to have a chat through the planned work. The statutory determination for the application is anticipated as 23rd October 2018.