PUBLISHED: 12:20 16 November 2006 | UPDATED: 13:36 04 May 2010
I AM writing to express my disappointment at the news that the planned improvements to the A14 in Cambridgeshire will not now be completed until 2015 and that the necessary funds to complete the upgrading have yet to be irrevocably confirmed. The Institu
I AM writing to express my disappointment at the news that the planned improvements to the A14 in Cambridgeshire will not now be completed until 2015 and that the necessary funds to complete the upgrading have yet to be irrevocably confirmed.
The Institute of Civil Engineers State of the Nation Report 2006 highlights the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge as being at 'breaking point'. However, it is not just the infrastructure that is at breaking point, it's the businesses and individuals that are thrown at its mercy on a daily basis that are at breaking point too.
It is unacceptable that the plans to improve road safety and reduce congestion by widening the A14 were announced by your predecessor in April, 2003 with a full allocation of funds and an anticipated completion date of 2010, and yet we are still waiting for a start date to be confirmed. The most recent communications indicate that the project will not now be competed until 2015.
We have been let down very badly by the Highways Agency not doing effectively what they were instructed to do, and as a result, improvements are now running at a five-year delay based on original timelines. Now we are calling on you to fast-track component parts of the scheme and as a result get back to an acceptable timetable for the delivery of the upgrading to give Cambridgeshire businesses and individuals the infrastructure support they deserve.
Someone needs to take responsibility for the implementation of the scheme and take the steps needed to commence parts of the planned improvements in 2008 as originally indicated. We are therefore asking you to both confirm the irrevocable allocation of funds for the complete upgrading and to instruct the Highways Agency to fast-track component parts of the scheme and ensure this happens without any further delay.
Chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. (copy of letter sent to Secretary of State)