Drivers faced with hour-long queues just days after A14 bypass opens
Drivers are facing hour-long queues on approaches to the A14 just days after a section of the new bypass opened.
A 12-mile (19km) stretch of the realigned A14 opened south of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire on Monday – a year ahead of schedule.
One driver told the BBC he believed Highways England “woefully underestimated local traffic”.
A Highways England spokesman said they were “monitoring the situation and making adjustments”.
Work on the new £1.5bn Cambridge-Huntingdon-A1 dual carriageway began in November 2016 and the entire 21-mile (34km) route is due to be ready by the end of 2020.
The improvements were expected to cut journey times by about 20 minutes.
The old A14 has now closed in both directions between Godmanchester and the Spittalls Interchange west of Huntingdon, with Highways England warning drivers they would need time to get used to new junction layouts and renumbering.
Mark Pawson said it took him an hour to make the two-mile journey from Fen Drayton to Swavesey on Tuesday morning.
“There are some fundamental road management issues that need addressing here,” he said.
“Everyone understands the need for the A14 improvements and it’s a great investment, but the local traffic has been significantly underestimated.
“Given that it’s been in the planning for 10 years or more there’s no excuse for them getting it so wrong.”
A spokesman for Highways England said they were aware of “some issues with traffic building up in some areas such as at Brampton Hut, near Swavesey on the A1307, and around Huntingdon”.
“As with any new road it will take a few days for things to settle while sat-navs and online maps get updated, new commute routes are found and technology is adjusted,” he said.
“We are monitoring the situation and making adjustments where we can to help smooth traffic flows.”