A14 bypass to open a year early in boost for motorists
A new A14 bypass is to open a year early in a boost for motorists.
The 12 mile bypass for Huntingdon will take its first vehicles from December.
The project sees the widening of the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury, widening of the existing A14 between Swavesey and Milton and the improvement of junctions at Bar Hill, Swavesey, Girton, Histon and Milton.
The new dual carriageway is part of a wider, £1.5 billion, 21 mile scheme in Cambridgeshire which will save drivers up to 20 minutes per journey once completed at the end of next year.
The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project will upgrade the road to three lanes in each direction (four lanes between Bar Hill and Girton).
Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, said: “The A14 bypass project is vital for local people and businesses, and the news that it is being delivered so far ahead of schedule is most welcome.
“I am glad that my constituents, and people across the wider region, will begin to see a reduction in their journey times.
“The route will not just be welcomed here in Cambridgeshire, but across the country as it improves access to and from key ports including Felixstowe.”
The full project remains on track to open by the end of 2020, the Government said, although some finishing work such as the removal of the A14 viaduct in Huntingdon will continue beyond this point.
The entire project, which has led to speed restrictions for motorists, is being delivered on behalf of Highways England by a joint venture of UK contractors and design consultants: Balfour Beatty, Costain, Skanska, Atkins and CH2M.
The delivery team is known as the A14 Integrated Delivery Team.
This week, Highways England has started making arrangements to use mandatory variable speed limits on the new A14 and to prohibit slow moving vehicles, which will be directed onto other, more suitable roads.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “This Government is committed to delivering an infrastructure revolution and it’s fantastic that a key section of this vital route will be delivered a year ahead of schedule, helping people travelling in the East of England get to their destination quickly and safely.
“The A14 upgrade will not only improve the experience for local drivers but will also boost access between the region’s ports and the West Midlands – a key logistics hub. “I look forward to seeing the benefits in action in December and to seeing similar infrastructure schemes developing around the country as we improve links and spread growth opportunities.”
The new road will open as an A road rather than a motorway as originally planned, but the design will remain the same the Government said.
Highways England project director David Bray said: “I’m delighted that we will be able to deliver the benefits of this key section of the project so much earlier than originally planned.
“As well as a significant improvement for drivers, this major milestone will start to realise some of the benefits of the upgrade for residents and communities along the A14 too.
“And it will mean that we are able to start work sooner on the improvements we are making to local roads in and around Huntingdon as we start to dismantle the old viaduct over the train station, which will be a real boost for local communities.”