The A142 will be shut (completely) between the Mepal bridge and the Sutton roundabout overnight from Wednesday 14 to Tuesday 27 November, between 8:00PM and 6:00AM (it’ll be open during the day).
The reason for the closure is so that the county council can install four new traffic islands to improve road safety. While they are doing this they will also be sealing and patching the road surface, and trimming back overgrowing trees.
This suggests that between 8:00PM and 6:00AM residents of Mepal will need to make their way in and out of the village via Witcham.
However, the situation regarding traffic diversion has become more complicated due to the fact that because of an oversight the Chatteris to Somersham road will also be closed for other works for the whole duration of the Mepal works.
This would not be the divert advertised by the county council for the Mepal works, as they advertise diverts at the same road grade as the road being closed (so because the A142 is an A road, they would advertise A-road diverts). But Chatteris to Somersham would be the divert used by many locals, and closing off this route makes for an even longer divert.
So what are your options if you want to get from one end of the road closure to the other?
- The advertised divert will be (believe it or not) via Chatteris, Warboys, down to Hartford near Huntingdon, and back along the A1123 (55 minutes to get from Mepal to Sutton by that route, according to Google Maps).
- Some traffic may get as far as Warboys and then turn off via Pidley, Somersham and the Colne road to Earith, though that wouldn’t be an advertised diversion route as it’s not an A road route.
- The closure of the Chatteris to Somersham road starts just north of the London Road junction with the drove road route through Sutton Gault. I have raised this with officers, as that cuts off this much shorter, but rather rural, divert route which some with 4x4s and stout suspensions may wish to use. I have been advised that there will be a gateman at this junction, who will allow domestic vehicles (but not HCVs) through the junction onto the drove road to Sutton Gault.
I’ve done my best to work with the council to find workarounds, including suggesting convoys on the A142 and all sorts, but no dice. It’s going to be complete and utter mayhem for a fortnight, but council officers are understandably highly reluctant to defer either scheme on grounds of cost, and I’m reluctant to defer the Mepal works too, as the works are long awaited, and much needed.
Photo: Cllr Lorna Dupré with Mark Inskip at the Mepal junction