Members also voted to recommend that the Board agrees reprofiling the remaining budget from 2021-22 to 2022-23.
The Combined Authority will make a capital grant funding agreement with delivery partner Cambridgeshire County Council to improve the A10 between Ely and Cambridge.
Today’s vote clears the way for the county council, in collaboration with the Combined Authority, to develop, scope and progress the delivery of the A10 Outline Business case as a tightly focussed follow-on from the wider A10 Strategic Outline Business Case work.
In 2020, the Combined Authority completed the Strategic Outline Business Case for A10 dualling and improvements to junctions. The next step is producing the Outline Business Case to identify a preferred option and undertake preliminary design.
The OBC would be submitted to the Department for Transport for consideration for further funding from its Major Road Network programme.
The Combined Authority has asked the County Council to undertake the Outline Business Case work. The current estimated cost is between £2M and £6M. In July 2021 the DfT awarded £2M for development work on the A10 Dualling and Junctions (Cambridge to Ely) scheme, including the OBC.
The Combined Authority has also earmarked an approved sum of £2M of funding for the outline business case stage within its own medium-term financial plan and the DfT has also indicated that the Combined Authority can seek an additional £2m from the department as options emerge, depending on solutions proposed, for potential further technical development on which future funding can be based.
The A10 is the key route between Ely and Cambridge, as well as part of the longer route between London, Cambridge and King’s Lynn. It is a strategic route for regional freight, a key link between local communities and agriculture centres, and a heavily used commuter route; more than 18,000 vehicles use this section of the A10 every day. It is severely congested, leading to heavy emissions and long journey delays, and the safety record is troubling.
The Combined Authority and Cambridgeshire County Council will liaise closely with the DfT over grant funding terms during the scoping discussions.