Will The 2 Billion Investment into The A14 Really Be Worth It?
6 months ago - Mark Ashton
While taking a recent journey down the A14 into Cambridge, I was aptly informed by one of the signs to expect the delays and disruption to continue until 2020!
Work on the A14 road from Cambridge to Huntingdon is currently ongoing. It’s a mammoth project spanning over four years and set revolutionise travel on this channel. I would go so far as to say that this road is renowned throughout the country for lengthy delays and congestion. Daily, more than 85,000 vehicles use the A14 and to make matters worse, a quarter of these are heavy commercial vehicles on their way to or from Harwich. It has been highly anticipated that the project will bear a positive legacy for many years to come to commuters and local residents alike. Already, hundreds of people in the area have been given a boost with the additional work that is available in the region. It is estimated that over 2000 jobs will be created over the lifetime of the construction of A14. It seeks to upgrade around 21miles of A14, expanding this to 3 lanes either side, with a view to cutting average travel times by 20 minutes and boosting the local and regional economy.
But Will It Be Worth Almost Four Years of Disruption?
The expansion of the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon was envisaged as far back as 2006. Since then, the project faced a wealth of financial hurdles. However, in 2014, the government decided to go-live with the project after securing the necessary funding. So is it worth it? There is a set of objectives that the expansion seeks to bridge;
The government and local authorities seek to create a traffic model with predetermined traffic time estimates. This is critical for the overhauling of goods as well as supporting the local business communities. For instance, the local workforce around Cambridgeshire will approximate travel times to/from work.
Commercial and residential developments will exponentially increase along the road. As it is, the value of the properties and rent is going up. More commercial and residential buildings are coming up to claim a pie of this mega project. The net effect is the growth of the economy, both locally and regionally. An efficient connection will also benefit transport companies and other business users to the tune of just over £10 million.
Major traffic will be separated from the local community. In essence, local roads will be free from major traffic snarl-ups, opening up more capacity for pedestrians, equestrians, cyclists. As a result, community interlinks will be a breeze meaning more local meetings and interactions in business and social events can occur more easily.
Heightened Road Safety
The highway standard translates to better and modern traffic control. Intelligent traffic control systems will be installed to manage incidents better if they occur. Drivers will be freer and under less stress, unlike the current situation where their alert levels have to be sharp.
Overall, the A14 expansion is set to leave a plethora of positive legacies. Local and regional economies growth will spur pegged on the economies of scale the A14 is set to bring on its completion.
Even though, the next three years will require a great deal of patience on the part of locals and users of the road while works are underway. Maybe the guided bus route and trains are better options for now.