The UK government has announced the opening of A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon scheme eight months ahead of schedule.
Claimed to be the country’s biggest road-building scheme, the £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project is expected to save up to 20 minutes of travel time and improve links between the Midlands and the East of England.
Highways England, which operates, maintains and improves England’s motorways and major A roads, said that the work to upgrade the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon is mostly completed.
The agency said that the permanent roadworks have been removed and the national 70mph speed limit has been restored.
The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project includes a major new bypass to the south of Huntingdon.
The scheme includes an upgrade to the A14 between Swavesey and Milton, and a new road for local communities, the A1307, which runs parallel to it between Cambridge and Godmanchester. It also includes nearly 24 miles of new routes for cyclists, walkers and horse riders.
Construction on the project started in November 2016 was originally scheduled to open to traffic by December 2020. The project has employed more than 14,000 people in total, with up to 2,500 working on-site during the peak of the project.
Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “This upgrade is a key addition to our national infrastructure, better linking the North of England and the Midlands to the East of England and to the Haven ports. It also brings economic benefits to the wider region and local towns and communities.
“Being able to open it more than six months early and on budget shows what the UK construction industry can achieve with an integrated client team, common goals and targets, and a shared vision of success.”
UK Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “Our roads are more important than ever as we work to keep Britain moving, and I’m delighted that this key stretch of road will benefit drivers even sooner than planned.
“The upgrade will deliver faster, easier journeys for those travelling between Cambridge and Huntingdon, and will also improve links to the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe – further bolstering our efforts to move goods around the UK at this critical time.”
The A14 is usually used by 85,000 drivers every day. (Credit: Crown copyright)