The latest section of Britain’s biggest road project opens today – giving communities a new local link from their villages to their nearest city.
This section of link road is the latest milestone in the £1.5 billion improvement of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.
It is the first part of one longer five-mile link road which will help people travel between local communities and cross the A14 safely, also improving links for villagers to and from Cambridge city centre. The A14 is a key route between the east coast and the midlands, and the whole scheme will speed up journeys by up to 20 minutes.
David Bray, Highways England Project Director said:
“Our work on the new A14 is progressing well, and our amazing team has been working very hard, with up to 2,700 staff working across more than 20 miles every day.
“Building the new A14 is just one part of our project; building local access roads such as this one is equally important. This road will help connect communities between Huntingdon and Cambridge without them needing to use the new A14.”
The whole project is upgrading 21 miles of the A14, with 12 miles of that being a new bypass south of Huntingdon.
The road opening today links the villages of Girton and Dry Drayton, and is the first part of a five-mile long link road that will, when finished, run from Girton to Swavesey, before the local road then continues as the old A14. The completed road will become part of the local road network and benefit people making local journeys between Cambridge and Huntingdon.
Highways England has submitted a request to Government for part of the new A14 to become a motorway when it opens, which would provide continuous motorway from London to Peterborough.
Work on the local link road, which will become an extension to the A1307 once the A14 project has been completed, began in spring 2017.
The A14 team has already opened nine of the project’s 34 bridges and structures to traffic, while reaching out to engage with and support local communities, and making incredible archaeological discoveries.
Cllr Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee, said: “I’m really pleased the new local access road between Girton and Dry Drayton is ready to open which will connect local communities without them needing to use the A14. This is great news for those people who live and work in the area. The responsibility for this new road will be handed over to us at the county council and we’re looking forward to the opening of the whole A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade.”
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, said: “It’s great to see that the first part of this new road is opening. I hope it will be of real benefit to residents of Dry Drayton and Girton and make their journeys easier.
“When fully complete we hope the access road and adjoining cycle path will also improve conditions for residents in the other villages alongside the A14 as it will mean they have an excellent new way to get to and from their homes. We hope it will also help reduce congestion through these villages too.”
Main construction of the A14 improvement is progressing well and reached the halfway mark in November 2018. The project, which will open to traffic by December 2020, will add capacity and boost the local and national economy.