Nearly four million drivers have already used upgraded A14
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:23 24 July 2020
Nearly four million drivers have used the upgraded A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon since it opened early two months ago.
Highways England released the update about Britain’s biggest road project as traffic levels start to pick up since the lockdown measures were relaxed.
It is estimated the £1.5 billion upgrade along the 21-mile section of road will unlock £2.5 billion in benefits to the UK economy.
Journey times are reduced by 20 minutes and it has been calculated that businesses will save £70 million every year.
John Bridge OBE, Chief Executive of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “The business community is really delighted at the early opening of the A14 and, in particular, the very positive and timely way the scheme has been developed.
“Whilst there has been some short-term challenges which can be expected in a construction scheme of this magnitude, the significant medium and long term benefits will we know far outweigh the short term issues.”
He added: “The timing of completion as we begin to recover post-COVID19 is of significant importance as businesses try to find new ways to operate and get staff and goods into work safely.”
The upgraded road officially opened eight months early in May.
It is considered to be Highways England’s flagship project and the biggest investment in road infrastructure in a generation.
Strengthening the links between the Midlands and the East of England will particularly improve access to and from the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe making it more efficient to ship goods.
Cllr Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee, said: “The whole A14 project is welcome news for residents and communities along the A14.
“It will not only benefit drivers with quicker and safer journeys but will ease the congestion experienced by many local communities and is great news for those drivers who have patiently waited in traffic while the new roads have been built.”
Before work started, around 85,000 drivers used this section of the road every day and it was regularly congested. In early July, as lockdown was eased, 71,000 drivers a day were using the road.
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