The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme will go ahead after the government granted approval.
The £1.5 billion 21-mile scheme will include a major new bypass of Huntingdon between Swavesey and Brampton, widening the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury, widening the existing A14 between Swavesey and Milton and improving the junctions at Bar Hill, Swavesey, Girton, Histon and Milton. There will also be improvements in Huntingdon Town Centre to include the demolition of the A14 viaduct and a new local access road.
Highways England has welcomed the decision, with Chris Taylor, director for complex infrastructure, commenting: “This is great news for everyone who uses the A14 through Cambridgeshire, from local residents and businesses to national and international haulage companies. The scheme will provide much needed additional capacity to improve journey times and safety.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken the time to give their views. All the input received has helped us shape the scheme.
“We are keen to keep the momentum going and will get preparations for construction underway as soon as possible after the end of the six-week statutory challenge period.”
The improvement scheme is now on target for main construction work to start in late 2016.
Today’s decision follows a statutory examination process by the Planning Inspectorate.
The planning application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 31 December 2014. The examination phase started on 13 May 2015 and lasted for six months, with the Planning Inspectorate submitting their report to the Secretary of State for a decision on 11 February 2016.
A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesperson added:“We have approved Highways England’s plans to upgrade the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon after reviewing the findings of the planning inspectors’ report. We look forward to working with Highways England as the project progresses.”
The new bypass and widened A14 will open to traffic in 2020, although some finishing work such as the removal of the A14 viaduct in Huntingdon will continue beyond that with occasional road closures.