A £1.5bn roadworks scheme to create better connectivity and improve journeys between the East of England and the Midlands is to open ahead of schedule.
Highways England announced the news today (6/2/20), that the A14 improvement will open earlier than originally intended - which was the end of 2020.
It follows the opening of a part of the 21-mile scheme in December, which was a year earlier than anticipated.
That new 12-mile bypass south of Huntingdon has already been used to make more than five million journeys.
Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said:
“The A14 is a vital route used by 85,000 drivers every day and including more than 21,000 hauliers transporting essential goods around the country.
“Opening this scheme more than six months early and on budget shows what the UK construction industry can achieve working with Highways England on the Strategic Road Network.
"I would like to thank them for their focus on our joint success and for their one team approach.
“Also, I would like to thank road users, residents and stakeholders for their patience and support during our work.
"This road is not just a piece of national infrastructure - it brings benefits to the region and local towns and communities too.”
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:
“I’m delighted that the A14 upgrade will open ahead of schedule, not only meaning drivers will benefit from quicker and safer journeys sooner, but also ensuring that key access between the region’s ports and the West Midlands will be boosted.
“Investing in key transport links such as this is part of this Government’s plan to level up access across the country, ensuring all regions are better connected and improving journeys for all.”
The project began in November 2016 and has employed around 13,000 people overall.
The A14 between Swavesey and Milton has been upgraded, while a further 24 miles of new routes for cyclists, walkers and horse riders are also included in the scheme.
(The upgraded Swavesey junction. Picture credits: Highways England)
Permanent roadworks and reduced speed limits on the new A14 and A1307 will no longer be in place, as a result of the spring opening.
There will be some temporary overnight closures or daytime lane closures in order to landscape and install new technology though.
The A14 transformation provides a key link between East Anglia, Felixstowe and the Midlands.
Highways England are also seeking planning permission for a £300m scheme to improve three junctions and upgrading three stretches of the A47 to duel carriageway between Great Yarmouth and Peterborough.