Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Council Welcomes A14 Improvement Announcement

A multi-million scheme to improve the notoriously congested section of the A14 between Girton and Histon junctions of the A14 has been welcomed by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The Highways Agency has announced today that a scheme will be completed next year to widen the A14 to three lanes both east and west bound between the 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.

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 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.

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.

Alex Plant, Transport Director at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "This is very welcome news and follows the close working between the Council and the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency. This section of the A14 and its junctions are in desperate need of improvement. Today's announcements are part of the plans to put in place some short-term measures to alleviate some of the most pressing problems on the A14. However, the longer-term plans for enhancements to the A14, along with supporting rail and public transport improvements remain critical if we are to reduce congestion, improve safety and support growth. Cambridgeshire County Council, with its partners, will continue to work with Government to accelerate the longer term solution for this major transport corridor which is vital for the local, regional and wider UK economy."