Nestled in the heart of the East Anglian flatlands, Peterborough is a thriving city that started life as a New Town. Its success is not just down to its proximity to Cambridge and London, but also its well developed transport network. Like other New Towns, there is a dense network of fast roads, known as the Parkways, linked together through a series of high capacity and well thought-out junctions.
As a result, the city possesses one of the fastest peak and off-peak travel times for a city of its size within the UK. With further investment in the road network earmarked for the coming few years, the City Council hopes that they can encourage more people and businesses into the city to help further develop its growth.
The urban area around Peterborough is fortunate to have a high quality network of principal roads, called the Parkways. These roads were built as part of the New Town Development, with the idea behind them being to quickly move traffic into and out of the city, as well as taking through traffic from one side of town to the other.
Virtually all of the Parkways are high quality dual carriageway roads, with a limited number of junctions along them. Most of the junctions are roundabouts, some being split-level roundabout interchanges and others being standard surface islands. This was done to help maximise traffic flow and meant that higher speed limits could be applied.
Local traffic would be kept away from the Parkways through a series of collector roads, which snake their way through the surrounding estates. By doing this, slower traffic and pedestrians could be kept away from the faster moving vehicles, thus improving safety and reducing the number of turning vehicles by restricting those to the junctions that are available.
The network, as good as is it is, has a few flaws. Because the network was built quickly in line with the need to get Peterborough up and running as fast as possible, large parts of the Parkways system are starting to reach the end of its design life, and congestion is starting to form in some areas. One major reason for this is due to the city's continued growth in terms of both the economy and population, as increasing numbers of businesses and families are attracted to the area.
In order to resolve this, the past decade has seen some considerable investment to bring the network up to scratch. This has been done through increasing capacity by adding additional traffic lanes and remodelling junctions. Another scheme currently underway is the dualling of the only single carriageway Parkway - Paston Parkway - with the middle third of this road currently being worked on (the southern third is already dualled, and the northern third is planned to follow later). When Paston Parkway was constructed, the land was reserved for future dualling, meaning that the road was always planned to be a dual carriageway.
Due to the large number of junctions within the Peterborough urban area, not just on the Parkways, Peterborough City Council realised there was a need to create an easy reference system for the road network. As most of the main junctions were (and still are) roundabouts, the Council decided to allocate a number to each junction, in the same way as a motorway.
The idea behind doing this would be to help transport planners with maintenance and construction projects, as well as to aid visitors and companies, as using junction numbers would make directing people much easier. The scheme was proposed in around 2000, with some reference to junction numbers being made in the First Local Transport Plan (published in mid-2000). However, it would be another couple of years before the system was introduced to the network.
The junction numbers don't run in any particular order, but there are some sequences along stretches of road, keeping bunches of junction numbers in the same areas. Junction numbers are allocated to both the Parkways and the main collector roads.
|Peterborough junction list|
|PDF document (368 Kb)|
However, there are some oddities in the way numbers are allocated, such as junction 22 being to the north of the city, whilst junction 25 is in the south west corner of the urban area. Some numbers have been omitted too, creating the impression that they may be allocated to other junctions, or perhaps completely new junctions, in the future.