A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme
What is the A14 Improvement Scheme?
Highways England is currently improving the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon. The scheme involves:
- Widening the current A14 to three lanes between Milton and Girton
- Widening to four lanes between Girton and Swavesey,
- A new local access road alongside the A14 between Girton and Fen Drayton, with new segregated provision for walkers, cyclists and horse riders
- A new bypass to the south of Huntingdon (with the removal of the existing viaduct) and Huntingdon town centre improvements.
- Widening of the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury to three lanes
Further details about the scheme can be viewed on Highways England’s website.
Who is responsible for the scheme?
Highways England are responsible for the scheme.
Highways England obtained permission to build the scheme through a Development Consent Order, granted by the Secretary of State in May 2016, following a rigorous independent Examination process.
Highways England is responsible for ensuring their contractors build the scheme in accordance with the Development Consent Order. This includes responsibility for monitoring and enforcing compliance.
What is South Cambridgeshire District Council’s role in this?
As the local planning authority for that part of the scheme in South Cambridgeshire, we have an enforcement role and powers to ensure that Highways England is doing this satisfactorily. (Note: Huntingdonshire District Council is responsible for the northern part of the route which is within Huntingdonshire).
Construction works & road closures
Construction began in November 2016 and Highways England anticipate the new road will be open to traffic by the end of 2020. To achieve this, a considerable amount of works are being undertaken by Highways England across the whole route at the same time.
Highways England says it is necessary for some works to be undertaken at night to minimise disruption to traffic and ensure the safety of road users and workers. This involves closing the A14 and/or side roads periodically, usually between the hours of 8pm and 6am. When this occurs, clearly signed diversion routes should be into operation by Highways England.
The planned road closures for this week can be viewed online and this page is updated weekly.
Who to contact to find out more?
Highways England have dedicated people who can be contacted for further information on works being undertaken in a given section of the route, or if you have any concerns about the works:
Sections 1 & 2: Alconbury to the East Coast Main Line
Jon Lewell - email@example.com
Section 3: East Coast Main Line to Swavesey
Jade Pettit - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sections 4 & 5: Swavesey to Milton
Bob Pettipher - email@example.com
Alternatively, you can contact Highways England on the A14 helpline 0800 270 0114 - This will be answered by a team member during site hours, which are from 8am to 5pm. Messages can be left at other times.
If you want to raise concerns about night works as they are occurring call Highways England’s rapid response number: 01480 220281 (between 9pm and 6am only).Your call will be directed to a member of the team working on site for immediate investigation and, if appropriate, action.
Should you wish to make a formal complaint to Highways England, it has a formal complaints procedure.
The District Council is working with Highways England and the local community to resolve a number of issues arising from complaints (see What is the District Council doing?).
What is the District Council doing?
The District Council is working with Highways England to try to minimise the impacts of the scheme, particularly during construction, and maximise the positive legacy the scheme will bring the area.
However, complaints have arisen in relation to the works being undertaken. The District Council is currently working with Highways England and the local community on various measures to address these issues.
Some of the actions the Council has undertaken include:
- Reviewing the working practices of Highways England’s contractors, particularly for night works, to ensure best practical means are used to reduce noise and disturbance on local residents
- Reviewing Highways England’s monitoring practices to ensure noise impacts are properly assessed and monitored
- Bi-weekly meetings with Highways England to discuss forthcoming works, what mitigation measures are proposed, and review issues arising from the previous two weeks and how issues have / will be addressed as the works progress
- Arranging meetings with Highways England with the aim of working together to improve communication and engagement with the local communities, particularly concerning improving the advance notice of forthcoming works
- Working with Highways England to simplify the complaints process, so that when things do go wrong there is a clear procedure in place to address them.
- The District Council is also seeking to achieve a positive legacy for the scheme, for example through provision of improved flood mitigation measures and new non-motorised user routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, in addition to those measures already included within the DCO.
- Working with Highways England and Cambridgeshire County Council (as the local highway authority) to address concerns from communities all along the route of the A14 in relation to the impacts of construction vehicles and diversion traffic (when the A14 is closed), particularly large lorries, routing through villages rather than using the official signed diversion routes.
- Established a Community Engagement Group for Histon and Impington and Orchard Park at which representatives from Highways England, the District Council, local District Councillors, County Councillor Parish/ Community Councils and the A14 Action Group discuss local issues and concerns.
Key messages arsing from the meeting of the Community Engagement Group held on 13 July:
- Night time working in the Histon and Impington / Orchard Park area will largely cease by the end of August until January 2020. Works will switch to the daytime with occasional nights.
- Highways England provided a rapid response telephone number to call for complaints arising whilst night works are occurring: 01480 220281 (between 9pm and 6am only).
- CCTV will be installed on site which can be used to help monitor and enforce the works.
- Working groups will be established to discuss noise, air quality, landscaping and other matters in more detail and work collaboratively to find solutions to address local communities’ concerns.
- All parties reiterated their aspiration for the scheme to have a positive legacy.