Highways England widens part of A1 under £1.5bn A14 upgrade project


Highways England has widened the A1, Britain’s longest road, with the addition of new lanes on both sides of the motorway for a total length of seven miles and opened an upgraded section to traffic.

In Cambridgeshire, a 3.5-mile section of the A1 has been widened from two to three lanes in each direction as part of Highways England’s £1.5bn project to upgrade the A14, the biggest road upgrade project in the country.

The extra lanes have been opened to traffic and the 70mph speed limit on the A1 has been restored, which will benefit the 31,000 drivers who use it every day.

Highways England is upgrading 21 miles of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon. Improvements to the east of England’s major trunk road include the creation of links between the A14 and the A1, with a redesigned junction and widening of the A1.

The improvements to the A14 are expected to boost the local and national economy, upgrade a key link between the east coast and the midlands and save 20 minutes for the 85,000 drivers who use it every day.

Part of the improved A14 and A1 is expected to be designated as motorways and for the first time, the project could create a continuous motorway from London to Peterborough.

The 410-mile A1 is Britain’s longest road, which connects London to Edinburgh, and the A14 meets the A1 at Brampton in Cambridgeshire.

As part of the A14 project, Highways England has widened it from two lanes to three in both directions between Alconbury and Buckden and constructed a redesigned junction at Brampton Hut.

A new local access road will be provided from the new Ellington junction alongside the A1 northbound to help drivers making local journeys. This is in addition to the new five-mile local access road running parallel to the new A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon, the first section of which opened to traffic on 18 March.

These will strengthen links between villages, improve access to Cambridge for local communities and become part of the local road network when the new A14 opens.

Finishing works on the A1, such as completion of the Woolley Road access, commissioning the gantries to help share real-time information with drivers, and completing the links to and from the new A14, will be taken up later in 2019.

The A14 project is due to be completed and fully opened by December 2020.


Image: Part of the new Brampton interchange, with the A1 running left to right and the future A14 running over it before rejoining the old A14 at Ellington. Photo: Courtesy of GOV.UK.

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