Monday, 8 October 2012

Council Chiefs Welcome A14 Cash


Plans to improve the A14 to help bring forward the Northstowe development have been welcomed by Council chiefs.

Cambridgeshire County Council has led a campaign with local MPs and partner councils to urge the Government to bring forward improvements for the congestion blighted road.

Today, Monday, October 8, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced various schemes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been successful in gaining Pinch Point funding.

As part of the £22 million package the announcement included improvements to the A14 between junctions 31 and 32, Girton to Milton. This would see reductions in congestion by widening the A14 between the junctions and installing three sign gantries across the width of the carriageway.

The widening of the A14, Girton to Histon, to three lanes in the eastbound direction, would complement the planned works at Girton under the £20m allocation being made available as part of the A14 "Challenge" work. This was identified as a priority for the Cambridgeshire area, given the potential for such improvements to reduce congestion and improve safety on one of the busiest stretches of the A14.

The A14 improvements support the Northstowe Phase One development, which will create over 500 jobs and 1,480 new homes as well as the gateways of Felixstowe and Harwich ports. It also supports the outputs from the A14 Challenge study, providing early improvements until the major improvements to the A14, announced by the Transport Secretary on 18 July 2012, come forward from 2018.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates said: "The A14 was completely off the agenda until we led a charge with local MPs and partner councils to get much needed improvements on this congestion blighted road. I am delighted that the Government has not only listened to us but has been working with us to bring forward improvements. We welcome the confirmation of these measures by the Minister which is part of a much larger scheme of improvements needed for this road. It will help bring forward the Northstowe development which is needed to help boost the local economy, create jobs and provide affordable homes. Cambridgeshire's economy is recognised as being able to help kick start the national economy and unblocking the A14 and building Northstowe plays an important part in that."

Councillor Ray Manning, South Cambridgeshire District Council's Leader, said: "I am pleased the Government is continuing to listen to Cambridgeshire's campaign for much needed improvements to the A14, and this funding will certainly boost our economy and help deliver some of the much needed homes at Northstowe. For the whole town to be built a major upgrade is still needed and we are committed to working with our partners to keep the pressure up on the Government for delivery as early as possible."