Cambridge

Why the A14 is a nightmare at the moment

The A14 commute appears to be getting a lot worse as upgrade work trundles on.

With the £1.5 billion improvement project not due to be complete until March 2021, drivers continue to suffer long delays as they negotiate a daily obstacle course of gridlocked traffic, narrowed lanes and temporary closures.

The stretch between Huntingdon, junction 24, and Cambridge have been narrowed in both directions since the start of 2017. Morning traffic is gridlocked daily, from the slipway as commuters battle through nose-to-tail freight traffic.

But now those living east of Cambridge are also feeling the pain as the westbound stretch between Stow cum Quy and Milton , junction 33, has been narrowed from the central reservation and the speed limit reduced to 40mph at Fen Ditton.

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The problems are exacerbated by additional road safety improvement works which are being carried out between the Newmarket bypass and Stow cum Quy A14 roundabout from May 8, 2018, until the end of August 2018.

A14 delays stock picture

Commuter frustration

There have been reports of traffic slow from Newmarket services all the way to Milton.

One commuter who lives in Bury St Edmunds told the News: "No matter how early I leave I'm at least 10 minutes late. I feel I am constantly battling a constant stream of traffic.

"My commute should be 35 minutes but it's more like 50."

A courier also tweeted:

Please dont call me for anything to go over to Ipswich, Newmarket or Cambridge area until 2020 or until those works are completed on the #A14 #Nightmare

— R.M.H Same Day (@SameDayCoventry) May 11, 2018

Traffic flow from the west this morning (May 16).

Once complete Highways England say the 21 mile of planned improvements will add capacity and boost the local and national economy.

Around seven miles of the road will be widened with the addition of a third lane in both directions and four lanes on each side between Bar Hill and Girton.

Traffic flow from the east this morning (May 16).

Nearly 40 per cent of the main construction work has been successfully completed and work is currently focusing on the schemes 34 bridges and structures.

Yet, it is not clear when this much needed widening will take place and when there will be work done to the central reservations.

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What will the A14 improvements be?

  • 21 miles of road in Cambridgeshire will be improved as part of the project.

  • The improvements will upgrade the carriageway to three lanes in both directions.

  • In total seven miles of the A14 will be widened.

  • Junctions at Bar Hill, Swavesey, Girton, Histon and Milton will be improved.

  • There will be a new bypass south of Huntingdon

  • A three-mile section of the A1 will widened between Brampton and Alconbury.

  • Work improving the A1 at Brampton will be carried out, taking 18 months.

  • The viaduct at Huntingdon will be demolished.

  • Huntingdon town centre will also be improved as part of the project and new local access roads will be built.

  • Journey times should be cut by 20 minutes once the work is complete.

Timeline

  • Giant steel beams have been delivered to site over the winter and many have taken up their permanent positions on some of the bridges near Huntingdon, including the bridge over the East Coast Main Line and the bridge that will eventually carry the new A14 over the A1.
  • The 750m long River Great Ouse viaduct has seen seven of its 17 spans fitted with steel beams. The rest will come between now and the summer. A second bridge opened to traffic in February; the Brampton Road bridge that links Brampton and Grafham, across the A1.
  • More than a quarter of the main construction work has already been completed.
  • The first bridge, near Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester, opened in September 2017, head of schedule.
  • The new bypass and widened A14 is due to be competed by the end of 2020.
  • Finishing work, like removing the A14 viaduct at Huntingdon will continue beyond 2020.
  • 34 bridges and structures are being built as part of the scheme including the new 750-metre long River Great Ouse viaduct. One is already open to traffic, and on the others nearly 750 major components have been built.

You can stay up-to-date by checking the roadworks feed.

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