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.

Highways England’s contractors are undertaking the works in accordance with the Code of Construction Practice and Local Environmental Management Plan.

 

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).

Our enforcement policy says that we will work with people to remedy a problem in the first instance and, only if this failed, would we consider formal enforcement action should there be sufficient evidence and it be judged to be in the public interest.

The Council is working closely with Highways England to investigate concerns as they are raised by local residents and explore whether there are alternative ways of undertaking the works to minimise the impacts on residents (see What is the District Council is Doing?)

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 and at weekends 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.

Please note that it is sometimes necessary for Highways England to undertake unscheduled closures to undertake emergency repairs.

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 - jon.lewell@thea14.com

Section 3: East Coast Main Line to Swavesey

Jade Pettit - jade.pettit@thea14.com

Sections 4 & 5: Swavesey to Milton

Bob Pettipher - bob.pettipher@thea14.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?).

Highways England has a dedicated email address for the local community to raise issues and complaints relating to the works being undertaken in the Histon and Impington / Orchard Park area: engagement@thea14.com.

You can also contact the District Council: ldf@scambs.gov.uk. The Council will investigate and work with Highways England to address the issue.

Should you wish to make a formal complaint to the District Council, it has a formal complaints procedure.

If your complaint relates to noise.

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 and vibration 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.
  • Working with Highways England to investigate residents’ concerns and whether there are different ways of undertaking the works to minimise their impacts.
  • 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.
  • Working with Highways England to ensure two air quality monitors are installed.
  • 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 arising from the meeting of the Community Engagement Group:

  • Night time working in the Histon and Impington / Orchard Park area will largely cease by the end of August 2018 until January 2019. 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).
  • 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.
  • Joint complaints process for Highways England and the District Council, who work together on addressing issues regardless of who the complaint is addressed to.
  • Weekly telecon to review the previous week’s works and discuss any concerns arising.
  • Regular email updates of forthcoming works in section 5 – to sign-up, contact Bob Pettipher: pettipher@thea14.com.

 

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