Heading out of Norfolk or Suffolk via the A14 at Cambridgeshire? Well soon you may have to pay for the privilege as government looks at possible toll road
PUBLISHED: 13:33 19 July 2012 | UPDATED: 08:47 20 July 2012
Drivers could have to pay to use a 20-mile section of new road in Cambridgeshire that will form part of a major investment in highways in eastern England announced by the Government.
The A14 corridor scheme in Cambridgeshire has been added to the Department for Transport’s major projects programme and work could start by 2018.
The department said funding for the improvements could be generated in part through tolling a length of the enhanced A14, featuring 20 miles of new or widened road.
But it added that more work would be done “to determine the best tolling solution, including what length the tolled section should be, how users would pay and what the tariff should be”.
The project includes the widening of the Cambridge Northern bypass between Milton and Girton and enhancement of the Girton interchange.
It also includes the provision of high-standard roads for local traffic use running in parallel to an enhanced A14 carriageway between Girton and the area near the current Trinity Foot A14 junction.
It will also see the construction of a bypass to the south of Huntingdon between the area near Trinity Foot and the A1, at both ends tying in with the existing A14.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: “The A14 is a crucial strategic route for the east of England, vital not only for international road traffic using the port of Felixstowe but everyone who relies on it daily.”
The Government also announced a package of desirable rail investment that will include major improvements at Ely, Peterborough and Leicester, and which will enable more freight to be carried by rail between Felixstowe and Nuneaton. Ms Greening has allocated £200 million to the Strategic Freight Network to fund network enhancements of this kind at the request of the rail freight industry.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Our proposals for the A14 corridor are the result of detailed discussions with local authorities and business interests and are aimed at delivering dramatic long-term capacity enhancements while ensuring good quality un-tolled options for local journeys.
“It is only because these plans would transform the existing A14 literally beyond all recognition into a high-capacity corridor, with around 20 miles of new or widened road, that tolling is being considered. Tolls are likely to provide only a minority of the funding that would be necessary, with the majority coming from central Government and local partners.”