Many local residents, the business community and I have been dismayed at the recent announcement of the cancellation of the proposed A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton Scheme. We need urgent action to explore an alternative scheme to solve the acute problems. The CHUMMS study made it clear that a multi modal solution is needed for this transport corridor; Guided Busway, rail improvements on the Felixstowe to Nuneaton route and improvements to the A14. The first two of these are well underway and of course efforts to increase the share of movement by public transport and on rail must continue. But the road is the missing piece.
The A14 provides an essential corridor for both people and freight and links the east coast ports with the Midlands and the North. The Ellington to Girton section is of particular importance. In addition to its east-west function, it also links the north and midlands with Stansted and London and a wide range of destinations in the South East. As such, it serves a vital local, regional, national and indeed international function. The cancellation of the A14 Scheme puts at risk the very issues that we are all trying to promote – sustainable economic growth and development. It is intrinsically linked to the delivery of the major new development at Northstowe which is a key element of the plans of this area to realise its economic potential.
All of the key stakeholders, public and private sector, are clear that something must be done to overcome the problems. Immediate action is needed to address the pressing problems of safety and delay on the A14, and separately to ensure that some of the major development sites around Cambridge that already have planning permission can go ahead. I would like to emphasise that the status quo is unacceptable for all of us, locally, regionally, and nationally. Something must be done and soon. For safety reasons, for economic growth, for housing growth.