Part of the new A14 will open ahead of schedule
Part of the new A14 in Cambridgeshire will be open to traffic in December – a year ahead of the original schedule.
The 12-mile dual carriageway, which starts at Swavesey and bypasses to the south of Huntingdon, had been expected to open alongside the rest of the £1.5bn improved A14 at the end of next year.
But Highways England announced today (Thursday) that workers had made excellent progress of the road and drivers could expect to use the dual carriageway sooner than expected.
Highways England project director David Bray said: “I’m delighted that we will be able to deliver the benefits of this key section of the project so much earlier than originally planned.
“As well as a significant improvement for drivers, this major milestone will start to realise some of the benefits of the upgrade for residents and communities along the A14 too.
“And it will mean that we are able to start work sooner on the improvements we are making to local roads in and around Huntingdon as we start to dismantle the old viaduct over the train station, which will be a real boost for local communities.”
The dual carriageway, which includes a new river crossing, was built to the south of the current A14. It starts at Swavesey, linking to Brampton.
Roads minister Baroness Vere, who was to visit the site today, said: “This government is committed to delivering an infrastructure revolution and it’s fantastic that a key section of this vital route will be delivered a year ahead of schedule, helping people travelling in the East of England get to their destination quickly and safely.
“The A14 upgrade will not only improve the experience for local drivers but will also boost access between the region’s ports and the West Midlands – a key logistics hub.
“I look forward to seeing the benefits in action in December and to seeing similar infrastructure schemes developing around the country as we improve links and spread growth opportunities.”
The road is part of the 21-mile A14 improvement scheme between Cambridge, Huntingdon and the A1. Highways England says when the rest of the work is complete next year, it will save drivers up to 20 minutes on journeys.
To take advantage of the early opening, the road will open as an A-road rather than a motorway as originally planned, but the design will remain the same.
Highways England added that the full A14 project remains on track to open by the end of 2020.