A14 upgrade scheme goes to Planning Inspectorate

February 4 2015  

A14 upgrade scheme goes to Planning Inspectorate

Plans to upgrade the A14 through Cambridgeshire have taken a major step forward as the Government’s Planning Inspectorate accepted a development application for the £1.5Bn highways project.

The improvement scheme from Huntingdon to Cambridge will involve construction of a bypass between Swavesey and Brampton, widening of the A14 between Swavesey and Girton and widening of the nearby A1 between Brampton and Alconbury.

Several junctions will be upgraded and improvements made in Huntingdon town centre, including demolition of a viaduct over the East Coast Mainline and construction of a new local access road.

Highways Agency project team member Mike Evans said: “Once completed this vital investment will relieve congestion on one of the busiest parts of this strategic network between the Midlands and East Anglia and will support both national and economic growth.”

Plans will be examined by the Planning Inspectorate as part of an application for a development consent order. If the order is granted, work on the scheme could begin next year.

A consultation last spring found that 85% of respondents thought the A14 needs improving, but only 51% agreed with the Highways Agency’s initial proposed solution.

Design changes that have since been made include in the Ouse Valley, where a nine span viaduct over the river is proposed to reduce the impact of flooding.

♦ Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton will not oversee the start of work on the A14 project, as he announced he will be stepping down from the role this summer.

“It has been a privilege to lead the Highways Agency through such an exciting time. I am leaving the business in good shape with a great team of people and an unprecedented five year fixed investment plan,” said Mr Dalton.

To read what industry leaders have to say about Mr Dalton’s resignation, see the forthcoming February issue of Transportation Professional.

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