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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 09:04 GMT
Traffic may force widening of A14
Felixstowe Port
Felixstowe - the largest container port in the UK - is set to expand
Engineers may widen the A14 to help cut the number of accidents and cope with the likely growth in traffic using an expanded Felixstowe port.

Concerns have been growing about traffic levels following the announcement of plans to increase the size of the Suffolk port.

Larger ships and more ferries are expected to increase the flow of lorries using the port.

The road could be widened throughout Northants, Cambs and Suffolk.

Major route

Originally built as an A1-M1 link road, the A14 is now the major route linking industrial centres in central and northern England with the East Anglian port.

Many UK companies have built distribution centres alongside the road and near its interchanges - especially in Northants.

Last week Cambridgeshire police held a public forum with the Highways Agency to look at concern over their stretch of the road.

In Northants people living along the A14 at places like Thrapston and Kettering say the noise and congestion caused by the huge amount of lorries is turning it into the "road to hell"'.

Long-term plans

But it could be a while before expansion takes place, according to Mike Sumner with the Highways Agency.

He said: "The most immediate plan is actually at junction 19 of the M1 with the A14, there we have plans to construct a flyover with the A14 and the M6.

"That's obviously a substantial scheme, probably costing well over 100m

"In the longer term, probably by about 2020, we would anticipate widening the A14 throughout Northamptonshire to three lanes in each direction."

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