A14 road (England)
|Part of E30 E24|
|Length:||127 mi (204 km)|
| M1 motorway Junction 19
M11 motorway Junction 14
Bury St Edmunds
The A14 is a major road in England, running 127 miles (204 km) from the Port of Felixstowe to the Catthorpe Interchange, the junction of the M1 and M6 motorways near Rugby. The road forms part of the unsigned Euroroutes E24 and E30.
From the Port of Felixstowe the road heads west, bypassing Ipswich to the south using the Orwell Bridge and on to Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge where it meets the M11. From Cambridge there is a very busy section past St Ives, Huntingdon and the junction with the A1. From there through Kettering ending at the M1.
The entire road is a dual carriageway. Most of it has two lanes each way, but there are two dual three-lane sections: one on the Newmarket bypass (between Junctions 36 and 38) where this road runs concurrent with the A11, and a short stretch between the Girton Interchange and Bar Hill. The road is heavily used by trucks carrying freight from the Port of Felixstowe (Britain's busiest container port) and the Midlands, North West and Ireland.
There are three at-grade junctions along the road: with the B663 at Bythorn in Cambridgeshire (junction 15); at the Leighton Bromswold turn a few miles to the east (junction 17); and at the Dockspur Roundabout at the edge of Felixstowe (junction 60).
Prior to the construction of the current A14 road the main route from the Birmingham to the Haven ports followed the old A45 road route via Coventry, Rugby, Northampton, St Neots, Cambridge and then through all the towns on the current route A14 from there to Ipswich where it ended on the A12.1 Prior to its use for the current route the A14 designation had been used for a section of road between the A10 at Royston and the A1 at Alconbury following part of the route of Ermine Street which is now most designated as the A1198 road.
The M45 motorway was constructed in 1959 parallel to part of the old A45 route in the Midlands and opened on the same day as the M1 motorway and was soon one of the busiest sections of motorway. The M6 opened in the late 1960s and early 1970s after which more traffic to the ports used a route from junction 1 of the M6 via the A427 road to Market Harborough followed by a short section of the A6 road to Kettering and then the A604 to Cambridge before joining the old A45 to the ports as above.2 The M45 now carries little traffic.
The sections from Huntingdon east to the ports were upgraded first, starting with the Huntingdon bypass in 1973, followed by the Girton to Bar Hill section in 1975/76 and the Cambridge northern bypass and Cambridge/Newmarket section in 1976/77.3 The Bar Hill to Huntington section opened in 1979 prior to the M11 which was fully opened in 1980.4 The Ipswich southern bypass including the Orwell Bridge opened in 1982.5
The 'M1-A1 Link Road' which was to complete the current route was constructed between 1989 and 1991 following a lengthy period of consultation. The first inquiry was in 1974 and then a series of inquiries for sections of the preferred route from September 1984 until June 1985, during which objections came from some 1,130 sources. Subsequent public inquiries were held regarding Supplementary Orders. The route of the road close to the site of the Battle of Naseby was particularly difficult and was taken to the High Court.6
Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes traveling east were banned from using the outside lane on a 2-mile (3.2 km) steep climb to Welford summit on a dual 2-lane section close to Junction 1 (A5199) from spring 2007; a similar scheme covered 2 miles (3.2 km) of the westbound carriageway from Junction 2 including a particularly steep climb to Naseby summit. The bans are active between 6am and 8pm and are intended to reduce delays to other traffic from lorries attempting to pass on these climbs.9
Between 2007 and 2008 a new section of two-lane dual carriageway was constructed at the Haughley Bends, one of Suffolk's most notorious accident blackspots,10 to rationalise access using a new grade-separated junction.11 The road opened in the summer of 200811 with some associated local works being completed early in 2009.12
Variable Message Signs (VMS), traffic queue detection loops and closed circuit TV (CCTV) are being installed on the A14. Work started on 13 July 2009 and is being carried out in three phases13 at a cost of 58m euros.14 Sections of the A14 in Suffolk were closed overnight during September 2010 to install the signs.15
- M1 junction – A14 J14 (east of Thrapston) – Estimated completion 'early 2010'
- A14 J36 (Junction with A11) and A14 J45 (east of Bury)- Estimated completion 'early 2010'
- A14 J52 (Claydon) and J14 J62 (Port of Felixstowe) – Estimated completion 'Autumn 2010'
Work to refurbish both carriageways between Junction 52 (Claydon) and Junction 55 (Copdock) started in January 2010 and is expected to be completed by 'early summer' 2010 at a cost of £9million. Work is being carried out a year earlier than scheduled as part of a UK government’s fiscal stimulus package.16
A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton
The scheme would include a widening of the section from Fen Ditton to Fen Drayton broadly on the existing alignment and then on a new route from Fen Drayton running to the south of the current road to the Brampton Interchange before tracking the A1 north to Ellington. The project would include the demolition of the Huntingdon viaduct and construction of a new junction with Brampton Road for local Huntingdon traffic.17
The Highways Agency unveiled its plans in March 2005.18 Details of the preferred route for the Fen Drayton to Fen Ditton section were published in March 2007
The contract for the scheme was awarded to Costain Skanska Joint Venture on 28 January 200817 who worked on detailed plans and the Highways Agency before publishing a draft order. Depending on the number of objections received, a Public Inquiry (PI) may be needed to examine the objections. The Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government would then made a decision based on the advice of the public inquiry inspector.17 The scheme is expected to open in stages between 2015 and 2016.
The Highways Agency has estimated that the Ellington-Fen Ditton widening would cost between £690 million and £1.2 billion, making it the most expensive scheme in their roads programme.19 In October 2009 the cost estimate had risen to £1.3b with work starting in 2012 and being completed in winter 2015/2016.20
The Campaign for Better Transport is opposed to the plans, listing their reasons for objection as the carbon emissions the road would induce, the cost of the scheme as well as its negative impact on non-car travel in the area.21
The coalition government suspended the scheme when they came into power, with Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Transport suggested that the scheme would be 'axed' on Monday, suggesting that the only way it would get built was as a toll road.22 That government money would not pay for the scheme was confirmed at the end of October, when Roads Minister Mike Penning said that the scheme was unaffordable and no longer offered acceptable value for money.23 In response to this news local MPs have said they will involve the private sector in some form to aid with development.
Junction 55 (the Copdock interchange) is a busy grade-separated roundabout junction with the A12 to the south of Ipswich and traffic is expected to increase. Changes to add capacity at this junctions have been approved which include full signalisation of the roundabout, extending the off-slip to the A14 from the A1214 and moving Ipswich bound traffic into the outside lane on the A12 approach.24
Traffic on this function is expected to increase further due to a number of nearby developments.
- The Port of Felixstowe, which already handles 3,750,000 TEUs (20-foot containers) is being expanded with the Felixstowe South development, phase 1 of which is due to open in 2010 and phase 2 in 2013. These changes are expected to increase traffic on the A14 and the Copdock Interchange is being upgraded as part of this project.25 The original planning approval for this expansion was conditional on construction work not starting until all the associated rail upgrades had been completed. However, due to delays in completing the rail upgrade and to what the Port calls "changing market conditions and the threat of expanding competing ports", Suffolk Coastal District Council have allowed work to start prior to the rail improvements being ready.26
- The Swiss College which will cater for 2,000 pupils from the September 2010, which will also add to congestion at this junction.27
- SnOasis (a major winter sports complex) which is expected to have 825,000 visitors each year when it opens in 2013, many of whom are expected to arrive by car28
- The proposed Bathside Bay container terminal at Harwich International Port is also expected to increase traffic at the Copdock roundabout and the A14.25
The local Liberal Democrat councilor believes that these changes will not be effective and will generate further tailbacks on the A12 approaching Ipswich and additional rat-running through local villages.24 The planned changes to the interchange were delayed in August 2009.24
The following developments will have an impact on traffic levels on the A14 corridor.
The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway is a 40-kilometre long bus network to connect the population centres of Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives, the northern section of which will run parallel to the A14 road. The scheme is predicted to cause a direct reduction in traffic on the busy A14 of 5.6% (rising to 11.1% with the new Park & Ride sites), although as other traffic re-routes to the freed-up road space from other parts of the local road network, the actual net reduction on the A14 is predicted to be 2.3%. The scheme "will be complementary to the planned road improvements on the A14".32
The Felixstowe and Nuneaton freight capacity scheme is designed to take more lorry traffic off the A14 between the Port and the Midlands by increasing capacity and allowing the carriage of larger 'Hi-cube' shipping containers by widening to the W10 loading gauge .33
The East West Rail Link is a proposed new rail route to provide a fast outer orbital railway to the north of London linking Great Western Main Line, Oxford, Bicester, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich for both passenger traffic and freight34 which would relieve some pressure on the A14.
The Highways Agency has plans to increasing capacity from Junctions 3 to 10 near Kettering 'in the longer term'30 and also to widen the road throughout Northamptonshire to "help cut the number of accidents and cope with the likely growth in traffic".35
The A14 is currently used by only one coach service, the National Express Coach route 350 (Clacton to Liverpool) between Copdock (J53) and Huntingdon (J26); National Express 305 (Liverpool to Southend-on-sea) and 314 (Southport to Cambridge) services follows the old A45 route between Cambridge and Birmingham.
On 17 November 1998 a lorry collided with the petrol station between Bar Hill and Lolworth. The incident happened shortly after 11AM and killed 1 person, with many others injured. The road was closed and there were huge tailbacks.36
On 26 July 2006 the A14 was closed for 24 hours near Newmarket when a van carrying acetylene gas canisters caught fire and the rescue services were advised by British Oxygen that they could remain unstable and needed 24 hours to cool. Bomb disposal officers were called in and the Red Cross set up a centre in Newmarket for those who were stranded.37
From the A12 west of Ipswich to the M1/M6 junction, the A14 is part of (but not signed as) the E-road E 24. The remainder from Ipswich to Felixstowe is part of E 30. The numbering of the A14 is inconsistent with the national road numbering scheme, as it begins in zone 5 and crosses through zone 6 on the way to zone 1 east of Huntingdon to Felixstowe. The road is concurrent with the A12 road from the Seven Hills Interchange to the Copdock Interchange which forms the Ipswich Southern bypass and with the A11 road between junctions 36 and 38.
The final 1.2 mile section of the A14 'spur' from the junction with the B1043 near Huntingdon to the A1(M) at Alconbury has many inconsistent designations. It is the only section of the original A14 (A1198 road) road that still bears that A14 designation; it was however renumbered as the A604 for a period of time prior to the construction of the current A14. The scheme page on the Highways Agency website for the 'A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough' scheme carried out in 1996–1998 refers to it as the A14(M),38 but the map page linked from that page marks the same section of road as the A604(M).39 The statutory instrument for the construction of the road in 1993 also refers to it as the A604(M).40 Neither the A14(M) nor the A604(M) designation is used on the ground however; when heading north onto the A1(M) heading north there a bare 'motorway' sign just past the B1043 exit without any number of on (see photo in the top right of this page).41 However, when heading south along the A1 it is signed as 'A14'.42 Online mapping is also inconsistent – the Highway Agency mapping (which uses Navteq data) refers to it as the 'A14(M)',43 Bing maps (which also uses Navteq mapping) shows it as motorway without any designation44 and Yahoo maps (which uses Navteq data) shows it as motorway and as the A1(M). Google maps (which uses TeleAtlas data) shows it as a trunk road called A14.45
East of the Girton Interchange with the M11 at Cambridge, the A14 used to be known as the A45, and much of the long-distance traffic further west had previously used the A45 route. The section between Cambridge and Kettering used to be the A604 apart from a short section near Kettering that used to be part of the A6. The road which was known as the A14 until the late 1980s is now the A1198 between Royston, Hertfordshire and Godmanchester. North of Godmanchester the route of the original A14 became part of the A604, itself now part of the new A14 until it meets the A1 road near Alconbury; thus forming a 'spur' off the main A14.
- "Half inch Ministry of Transport Road Map". Ordnance Survey. 1923. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- The Hamlin Road Atlas of Great Britain – 1976
- "A14. M1 to Felixstowe – Statistics and options".
- "M11 London-Cambridge Motorway". Motorway Archive. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- "Appendix". Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- "A14/M1 to Felixstowe". Motorway Archive. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- "The A14 M1-A1 link will be opened on Friday 15 July by John MacGregor, Secretary of State for Transport and..". Local Government Chronicle.
- "Cavities could be problem at A14 Rookery crossroads, Rougham". Bury Free Press.
- Highways Agency. "A14 Journey Time Trial".
- "Haughley Bends transformation under way". 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-03-09.dead link
- "Highways Agency". Stowmarket to Haughley New Street improvement works. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
- "Minister praises A14 safety bid". Evening Star. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
- "A14 Corridor Traffic Management Scheme". Highways Agency.
- "A14 Corridor Traffic Management Scheme – 2009-UK-13027-E -Part of Priority Project 13". Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Overnight closures on A14 in Suffolk for new road signs". BBC News. 2010-09-20. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-13. "Drivers have been warned about road closures on part of the A14 in Suffolk this week as work is carried out to install new electronic sign"
- "Work starts early on £9m safety improvement scheme on A14 near Ipswich". Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- Highways Agency. "A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton".
- "A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton Consultation". BBC Cambridgeshire. 2006-06-06. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
- "Updated scheme cost estimates". Department for Transport. Retrieved 2009-09-30.dead link
- "Anger as A14 revamp faces new delay".
- "Newsletter 103, October 2009". Cambridgeshire Campaign for Better Transport. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- "Minister hints at ditching £1.2bn A14 upgrade". 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2010-10-13. "“Take the A14,” he is quoted as saying, “I can’t find the money to improve that but, if the private sector wants to build a new road and toll it, [then great].”"
- Local Transport Today, Issue 557, page 1
- "Delays to Copdock Mill roundabout "improvements" welcomed".
- "The effect of the proposed development on safety and the free flow of traffic and its consistency with national transport planning policies".
- "Port of Felixstowe Upgrades South Rail Terminal". Felixstowe TV. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
- "South West Ipswich and South Suffolk (SWISS) Partnership".
- "Snoasis approved". BBC News. 2006-04-01.
- "Catthorpe Interchange motorway access scheme is shelved". BBC News. 2010-06-18. Archived from the original on 6 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- "14 Kettering Bypass Widening". Highways Agency.
- "Congestion-busting plans to widen the A14 in Northants go on show". Highways Agency.
- Dr Chris Gossop (2006-02-07). Cambridgeshire Guided Busway: Inspectors Report. Department for Transport. p. 29. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "Felixstowe – Nuneaton".
- "Front Page". East West Rail Consortium. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
- "Traffic may force widening of A14". BBC News. 2004-11-24. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
- "Man killed in petrol station fire". BBC News. 1998-11-17. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- "Burning van causes A14 disruption". BBC News. 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
- "A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough". Highways Agency. "the remainder constructed to dual 3 lane motorway, except for the short length of A14(M) which is dual 2 lane motorway"
- "A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough". Highways Agency.
- "Statutory Instrument 1993 No. 2940: The A604(M) Motorway (Alconbury to A1(M) Section) And Connecting Roads Scheme 1993".
- "Map". Highways Agency.
- "Alconbury, Cambridgeshire".
- "East of England roadworks update: Monday 19 March to Sunday 25 March 2007" (Press release). Highways Agency. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2007-03-16.
- "Google Maps". Retrieved 2009-10-30.
Media related to A14 road (England) at Wikimedia Commons
- GO East CHUMMS page containing links to the report documents
- Public consultation on Huntingdon Bypass (March 2007)
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