I seem to have spent a lot of this last year working to bring forward the A14 upgrade. I was clear from the outset that not only did we need the major scheme to happen we also wanted some action NOW. It is brilliant that this A14 widening is to take place so quickly.
It is now time for the Lib Dems to put aside political mantra and support these improvements and more importantly the major scheme.
The Highways Agency has announced today, Wednesday, that a scheme will be completed next year to widen the A14 to three lanes both East and West bound between the Histon and Girton junctions. It is part of a wider announcement by the Government to remove pinch points and bottlenecks on UK roads.
The improvements will support the first phase of the development of the new town at Northstowe.
The scheme will see a new third lane run from the Histon interchange westbound and join directly onto the M11 slip-road.
Eastbound a new lane will run directly from the A14/ M11 interchange and link to the Histon interchange. This will help reduce congestion which can lead to long queues at peak times.
Two thirds of this had already been announced – i.e Girton to Histon third lane and westbound lane from layby on the A14 to link to the M11 slip. The new bit that we think will cost £3.06 million is joining the Histon interchange slip westbound to the A14 layby.
The 2014 date is very welcome as some of this work they have brought all together would have been finished in 2015.
Cambridgeshire County Council, with partners, has been talking to the Highways Agency on possible schemes to improve this busy section of the A14 which is used by thousands of vehicles a year. The announcement is part of the short term and long term measures proposed for the route.
It fits in with the more comprehensive improvements along the route from Milton to Ellington designed to boost safety and the economy as well as reduce congestion.
The Highways Agency says this scheme will be linked to the tranche two scheme that is being undertaken in the westbound direction and supports the Northstowe Phase One development. This has the potential to create 582 jobs and 1,480 new homes by 2020. It also supports the development of the gateways of Felixstowe Port and Harwich Port. It also consistent with the outputs from the A14 Challenge study, providing early improvements consistent with the proposed A14 major improvement scheme announced by the Transport Secretary on 18 July 2012. The Highways Agency says that the Histon to Girton scheme will cost £3.06 million and will start and be completed in 2014.