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The Cambridge Western Bypass (J8 to J14)

On the M11, between junctions 10 and 11, a Public Inquiry was held at Cambridge between February and July 1972, a total of 72 days, which considered Cambridge Western Bypass (the length of M11 north of Stump Cross), Cambridge Northern Bypass (A45, now numbered A14) and A604 Improvement Girton - Godmanchester (now numbered A14). The report indicates the many complex issues involved. These included the reliability of traffic predictions, location and layout of interchanges, effect of the motorway on the internationally important Radio Astronomy Observatory of Cambridge University, and many other diverse issues.

The Inspector submitted his report on the Public Inquiry on 30 April 1973, to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Rt Hon Geoffrey Rippon. He recommended that the proposals be made as drafted, subject to various modifications and further reconsideration of interchanges.

London-Cambridge Motorway5This picture is a view of construction work on the M11 at Junction 10 viewed during an air show at Duxford in the summer of 1979. In the foreground is the contractor’s camp with a vast assemblage of graders, lorries, and an aggregates washing and grading facility. Further away lie some contractor’s living and office accommodation and museum car parks. As compensation for severance of the runway, the Imperial War Museum subsequently had the land used for this construction site cleared and a vast display hall for a variety of aircraft built as “accommodation work”.

Designed for the ERCU as a £9.8m contract, construction of the Cambridge Western Bypass length of M11 started in the summer of 1977 and opened to traffic in February 1980, with Contractors Bovis for the length of 8 miles north of Stump Cross and Amey Roadstone for the remaining 6 miles to Junction 14. Project direction was again by the Eastern RCU, but with design and supervision of construction by its Bedfordshire Sub-Unit.