A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme

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Where are we now?

Work began on the £1.5bn scheme in November 2016 and the new road is due to open by the end of 2020, with some work (such as the removal of Huntingdon viaduct) continuing beyond that.

The scheme is now past the halfway point. More than 8 million working hours have gone into the project, with 8 million m³ of the 10 million m³ of construction material needed having been excavated. Nine new bridges have already opened to traffic and work is well under way on 25 more. The 750m River Great Ouse viaduct, with its 6,000 tonne steel structure, is 85% complete.

In September, we installed the new bridge decks at Bar Hill, and in November we opened the new bridge at Swavesey, and demolished the old, 40 metre bridge. These crucial milestones allow us to continue work on these two new junctions throughout the winter. You can watch a time-lapse video of the Swavesey bridge demolition below.

In addition to construction, a lot of work has taken place to build new ecological habitats, carry out archaeological work and excavations and to support the local community. You can read more about the wider work on the project here.

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What’s next?

As we move into winter, we have a number of key areas to focus on.

Over the coming months we’ll be continuing to lay the new road surface. This is made up of 5 separate layers, to a total depth of well over 1 metre.

We’ll complete the surfacing of the A1 north of Brampton Hut, which will allow us to remove the narrow lanes we installed for safety purposes. We also hope to open the new local access road between Cambridge and Dry Drayton this winter.

The new A1 between Brampton and Buckden is also expected to open in winter 2019, and we will also connect the two structures that cross the River Great Ouse and the East Coast mainline during this time. This then will give us full access between Brampton and Swavesey, enabling us to travel through site and complete work even more efficiently.

Weather allowing, we also hope to start planting some of the almost 1 million plants provided as part of the scheme in the next few months.

Proposal for A14 to be reclassified as a motorway

We want the A14 upgrade to be the safest and best road it possibly can be and we now have an opportunity to make our the road even better.

By the end of this year we will ask the Planning Inspectorate to amend the road status for a specific section of our scheme – the section between Ellington and Girton – from trunk road designation to motorway.

Motorways are twice as safe as A road dual carriageways and six times safer than single-carriageway roads, so this change offers safety benefits to our already robust plans. Classifying the road as a motorway will also remove slow moving traffic (such as farm vehicles and mopeds), which will further improve journey times.

We need to do this now so that a decision is made in time for the project opening to traffic by the end of 2020. The Secretary of State for Transport will make the final decision next year following the Planning Inspectorate’s review of our submission.

We’re currently carrying out various impact assessments for the designation change. For more information, read our FAQ.

The Development Consent Order


Date Event
2010 Government cancels Ellington Fen Ditton scheme
2011/12 Detailed study of options for A14
July 2012 Government announces A14 improvement will include a toll
June 2013 Government announces fast track delivery programme
September 2013 Scheme Options consultation
December 2013 Government removes tolling from the proposal
7 April to 15 June 2014 Pre-Application consultation
December 2014 Development Consent Order application
13 May to 13 November 2016 Development Consent Order examination
11 May 2016 Secretary of State decision
March 2017 Start of works
2020 A14 open to traffic

Development Consent Order – requirements register

We made a commitment to publish and update a register listing the requirements to be completed as part of the Development Consent Order (specified under the Register of Requirements in Schedule 2). This sets out:

  • each requirement
  • whether the requirement needs approval by the Secretary of State (or other duty holder)
  • whether any approval has been applied for or given

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