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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2010 16:19 UK
Spending Review: Reaction to A14 upgrade cancelled
A14
Plans to upgrade the A14 at a cost of 1.4bn have been shelved

Business leaders and Conservative MPs have said they are "deeply disappointed" by the cancellation of improvements to the A14.

But Nita Tinn from the Offards Action Group welcomed the news, claiming the plans had been "totally unsustainable."

In 2008, the then Labour Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly announced the widening of the A14 at a cost of £1.4bn.

The plan had been to create a six-lane road between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

Toll road suggestion

John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said: "The only crumb of comfort is that the minister says we have to look at other means and maybe private funding and maybe a toll road," he continued.

Jonathan Djanogly
MP Jonathan Djanogly hopes the A14 will attract private investment

Conservative MPs Andrew Lansley and Jonathan Djanogly plan to hold a meeting with Huntingdonshire District Council to see if they could move the project forward.

Mr Djanogly believes private investment and a toll road could be on the cards.

Mr Lansley, agrees, although he believes local users and long distance traffic would need to be separated.

He said the Department for Transport had assured him they were urgently assessing ways of relieving congestion on the A14.

Town plan 'doubtful'

Ms Tinn, whose campaign group lobbied against the widening of the A14, said she believes lorry numbers are the road's greatest problem.

She welcomed news the government will attempt to get more freight onto railways but questioned whether the private sector would be prepared to invest in a toll road.

Andrew Lansley
MP Andrew Lansley said transport officials hope to shift freight on to rail

Richard Vanbergen, managing director of Flexible Group in St Ives, suggested two short-term improvements to congestion.

He believes if the A428 was extended between Caxton Gibbet and the A1 at St Neots, it would offer an alternative.

He also thinks lorries should be prevented from overtaking between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

The future of planned new town Northstowe would seem to have been thrown into doubt by the announcement.

Just under 10,000 homes are due to be built just off the A14, north of Cambridge. One of the conditions to it receiving planning permission was a widened A14.

"Roughly speaking no more than 1,600 homes could be built at Northstowe without there being a significant enhancement for the road traffic around it," Mr Lansley said.

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• As a user of the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge I would suggest that since the road widening proposal has been cancelled that, as was said in your article, "Lorries are kept to the near side lane" using cameras to police this, and as is used in some European countries, height restriction barriers across the outside lane. Farm tractors and other slow vehicles also should be banned from using the road during certain times. Works elsewhere, should work here.
Paul Firmin, Oakham

• The road should have built as a motorway in the first place.
Chris, Peterborough




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