Greater Cambridge MPs join call for smart motorway to improve M11

PUBLISHED: 10:54 27 October 2017

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner and South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner and South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen

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MPs Daniel Zeichner and Heidi Allen have added their voices to requests for ‘essential’ improvements to the M11 made by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP).

The hope is that a smart motorway, which would use the hard shoulder as an additional lane, and an ‘all movement’ upgrade of the Girton Interchange, would be put on Highways England’s Road Investment Strategy.

A letter sent to Highways England, signed by the MPs and the GCP board, states that with growth expected at the Biomedical Campus, West Cambridge campus and to the west of the city, the M11 will become increasingly important to city transport.

Francis Burkitt, chair of the GCP, said: “At the moment, the M11 round Cambridge is trying to serve two purposes, and not doing either very well. It’s trying to be a straight-through strategic national route connecting London to Leeds and beyond, and at the same time it’s functioning as a local outer ring for Cambridge.

“With just two lanes each way, it’s getting too clogged up, particularly at peak hours. Highways England, who are in charge of all motorways, recognises this, and is asking for views on what to do.

“We’ve suggested using the existing hard shoulder to create three lanes each way, and using variable speed limits to manage traffic flow at peak hours, to create a smooth flow of traffic rather than those annoying stop-starts that we all hate so much.

“Separately, we all want the M11 and A428 to link together better at the Girton Interchange. There are lots of views on how to do this best, and how radical to be, including some plans already published by Highways England, and we’re urging them to investigate this more fully.”

The letter also says improvements at the Girton Interchange could ‘maximise the value and benefits’ of the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

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