Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A14 Timeline: Is There No Stopping It? by Cllr David Jenkins

There are few who’d say that the A14 doesn't need improving, it’s one of the most congested roads in the country and hardly a day goes past without an accident on the Girton to Huntingdon stretch, the big questions are how and what else needs to be done.

The Highways Agency has been ‘consulting’ and has just reported on the results of this consultation. Click here to go to the Highways Agency’s web-site and the pages about the A14.

Unfortunately when it was running the consultation tolling of the new A14 along the Huntingdon southern bypass was a given and at that time it was a fundamental part of the financing of the scheme. Not unsurprisingly perhaps only 10% of those who responded to the consultation agreed with the tolling proposal and this probably influenced people’s responses to other questions.

About 23% of respondents to the consultation supported the overall scheme, about 55% did not support it.

By contrast  over 40% supported the widening of the A14 west of Girton, 45% supported the Girton interchange improvements and over 50% supported the improvements to the stretch of the A14 between Girton and Milton.  In all three cases there were over 20% no responses.

Those that make the decisions are moving on, now without the tolling and the timelines is as shown. The preferred option will be announced shortly and will be followed by a pre-application consultation leading to a Development Consent Order towards the end of the year. It’s during this consultation that local people and stakeholders can make input.

David says: ‘this is going to happen. We just need to do our best to see that what we get does not ruin lives in our villages. We can expect some chaos during construction  but afterwards the pattern of roads must take traffic away from them and the details of build and operations must not make life intolerable for those who live close to the’improved’  A14.’