Next A14 Upgrade

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KeithW
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Next A14 Upgrade

Post by KeithW » Tue May 14, 2019 21:01

The existing A14 upgrade project thread is getting confusing with possible new schemes so I that with todays breaking News about redeveloping Cambridge Airport I would start it here.

Marshall Aerospace have announced that they plan to close the airport on the Newmarket road and move to a new site by 2030. Likely candidates for the new site are Duxford and Wyton in Cambridgeshire and Cranfield in Bedfordshire.

The Cambridge site will be developed with 12,000 new homes and large business park. Anyone who knows the area will know the Nemarket road is already heavily congested and a development this size will inevitably considerably increase traffic on the Cambridge Northern bypass. I suspect this will require a widening of the Cambridge Northern Bypass and Newmarket bypass with a probable reworking of the A10 junction at Milton.

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/c ... f-16274267
(dontcha just love the fact that the CEN cant even spell cambridge correctly in the link)

The side issues if Wyton or Duxford are chosen could be substantial.
Duxford has ready access to the M11 but the A505 is only S2 as far as Royston and the road is regularly congested with traffic heading for Whittlesford Parkway

Wyton is the real joker in the pack as the only viable access to the south will be a new road across the Great Ouse and a link to the old A14 aka the A1307, either that or retain/rebuild the Huntingdon viaduct.

Cranfield on the other hand is close to the A421 at Brogbrough and thus handy for the M1 and future Oxford Cambridge Expressway.

No this is not a belated April Fools joke.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by c2R » Tue May 14, 2019 21:35

Surely Duxford is a little pointless, as Stansted is even closer - not to mention that one of the NE approaches to Stansted goes over Duxford itself, meaning that air traffic control would be interesting to manage if both airports got busier....

Edit - this is a nice/horrifying video: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40669144
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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by KeithW » Wed May 15, 2019 10:21

c2R wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 21:35
Surely Duxford is a little pointless, as Stansted is even closer - not to mention that one of the NE approaches to Stansted goes over Duxford itself, meaning that air traffic control would be interesting to manage if both airports got busier....

Edit - this is a nice/horrifying video: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40669144
I think is happening here is a classical piece of PR work.

You know where you really want to move to but know that neither your customers or staff will not be overly happy about moving as far as say Cranfield. What you do therefore is throw in one or two impossible options.

Duxford is clearly impossible , apart from the issues you mentioned the runway was truncated when the M11 was built and it is owned and run by the Imperial War Museum and while as a business you can rent space on the old admin buildings north of the A505 there is no way they can have an installation of the type they have at Cambridge. The hangers are all fully occupied and will remain so.

As for Stansted they dont have any reason to want such a facility involving heavy military aircraft stooging about which actually tend to fly in their own reserved air corridors, the number of civilian movements out of Cambridge Airport is minimal, most of the air traffic consists of RAF military types as they arrive/depart or make test flights. A look at Google Satellite View shows C-130 transports and RAF Typhoons on the hard standing.

RAF Wyton is large, decommissioned and while wikipedia will tell you the runway is only 800m long that is misleading as it refers to the grass strip used for primary air training by the last (now departed) unit by the Air Training Corps. It was upgraded in the 60's with a 2 km long concrete runway and there is a huge amount of hanger space. If it is only to operate as an aircraft refurb/upgrade site which is mostly what happens at Cambridge that would work. The main problem is its relatively poor ground access once the old A14 becomes just a LAR and the Huntingdon viaduct is demolished. That will mean that either new roads would be needed or that existing roads such as the B1090/A1123 via St Ives would need improvement. So not impossible but difficult.

Cranfield has a 1.8 km long runway that is capable of handling large aircraft and is adjacent to Cranfield University which is churning out aeronautical engineers amd technicians. It is close to Milton Keynes as well as the the M1 and A421 for the proposed Oxford Cambridge Expressway. The Cranfield Road to M1 J13 could do with improvement but I suspect that would not be hard to do and is probably on the list somewhere.

Guess which I think is the most and least likely candidate for the new site ?

PS I believe the Air Training Corps that left RAF Wyton now operates from Cranfield.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by Peter350 » Wed May 15, 2019 12:24

I think the next A14 upgrade should be the construction of a new parallel alignment between Thrapston and Ellington, with the existing route being retained as a LAR. This will allow motorway regulations to be extended west to Catthorpe, therefore providing a continuous blue line between there and Girton (and of course down the M11 as well!)

I’m sure this has probably been discussed before but if future upgrades take place, it will totally mess up the junction numbering system as sub-standard interchanges are closed/bypassed. This is already happening with the current A14(M) upgrade where the Bar Hill interchange has become J25, yet the next junction, Girton remains J31. With this and future potential upgrades in mind, do you think we should have a wholesale renumbering of junctions on the entire route?

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by roadtester » Wed May 15, 2019 12:59

Peter350 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:24
I think the next A14 upgrade should be the construction of a new parallel alignment between Thrapston and Ellington, with the existing route being retained as a LAR. This will allow motorway regulations to be extended west to Catthorpe, therefore providing a continuous blue line between there and Girton (and of course down the M11 as well!)
I agree that this section is the main priority now because of the at grade junctions, but surely it could be done online?

Beyond that, I think three lanes in each direction between the A1 and M1 is desirable and probably likely, with the whole A14 getting three lanes in each direction one day. Most of the sub-standard bits east of Cambridge have already been sorted - e.g. Rookery Crossroads, Haughley Bends.

I think with most of the A14 now being up-to-scratch in terms of alignment and modernity, the emphasis will now shift to widening.
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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by roadtester » Wed May 15, 2019 13:11

KeithW wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:21
c2R wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 21:35
Surely Duxford is a little pointless, as Stansted is even closer - not to mention that one of the NE approaches to Stansted goes over Duxford itself, meaning that air traffic control would be interesting to manage if both airports got busier....

Edit - this is a nice/horrifying video: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40669144
I think is happening here is a classical piece of PR work.

You know where you really want to move to but know that neither your customers or staff will not be overly happy about moving as far as say Cranfield. What you do therefore is throw in one or two impossible options.

Duxford is clearly impossible , apart from the issues you mentioned the runway was truncated when the M11 was built and it is owned and run by the Imperial War Museum and while as a business you can rent space on the old admin buildings north of the A505 there is no way they can have an installation of the type they have at Cambridge. The hangers are all fully occupied and will remain so.

As for Stansted they dont have any reason to want such a facility involving heavy military aircraft stooging about which actually tend to fly in their own reserved air corridors, the number of civilian movements out of Cambridge Airport is minimal, most of the air traffic consists of RAF military types as they arrive/depart or make test flights. A look at Google Satellite View shows C-130 transports and RAF Typhoons on the hard standing.

RAF Wyton is large, decommissioned and while wikipedia will tell you the runway is only 800m long that is misleading as it refers to the grass strip used for primary air training by the last (now departed) unit by the Air Training Corps. It was upgraded in the 60's with a 2 km long concrete runway and there is a huge amount of hanger space. If it is only to operate as an aircraft refurb/upgrade site which is mostly what happens at Cambridge that would work. The main problem is its relatively poor ground access once the old A14 becomes just a LAR and the Huntingdon viaduct is demolished. That will mean that either new roads would be needed or that existing roads such as the B1090/A1123 via St Ives would need improvement. So not impossible but difficult.

Cranfield has a 1.8 km long runway that is capable of handling large aircraft and is adjacent to Cranfield University which is churning out aeronautical engineers amd technicians. It is close to Milton Keynes as well as the the M1 and A421 for the proposed Oxford Cambridge Expressway. The Cranfield Road to M1 J13 could do with improvement but I suspect that would not be hard to do and is probably on the list somewhere.

Guess which I think is the most and least likely candidate for the new site ?

PS I believe the Air Training Corps that left RAF Wyton now operates from Cranfield.
At a guess, I'd say of the options you mention Wyton would be most likely because it isn't already dominated by another organisation as Duxford or Cranfield are.

I think another argument against Cranfield is that it is quite a long way from Cambridge from a commuting point of view, so a large number of Marshalls' existing skilled workforce might be reluctant or unable to make the move.

IIRC, in the past, the US-operated RAF Mildenhall was always mentioned as the likely destination for a re-based Marshalls, but the wind-down there seems to have been delayed. I suspect that if it became available, Mildenhall would be the best option, given the quality of facilities the US is likely to leave behind in terms of hangar space and so on.
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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by KeithW » Wed May 15, 2019 13:15

Peter350 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:24
I think the next A14 upgrade should be the construction of a new parallel alignment between Thrapston and Ellington, with the existing route being retained as a LAR. This will allow motorway regulations to be extended west to Catthorpe, therefore providing a continuous blue line between there and Girton (and of course down the M11 as well!)

I’m sure this has probably been discussed before but if future upgrades take place, it will totally mess up the junction numbering system as sub-standard interchanges are closed/bypassed. This is already happening with the current A14(M) upgrade where the Bar Hill interchange has become J25, yet the next junction, Girton remains J31. With this and future potential upgrades in mind, do you think we should have a wholesale renumbering of junctions on the entire route?
The reality in terms of traffic congestion suggests otherwise. The section in question carries under 40,000 vehicles per day while current traffic levels on the Cambridge Northern Bypass are around 70,000 and rising rapidly. If the A14 west of Brampton is upgraded the best that can be expected is an online upgrade that closes the flat junctions. Similar upgrades have happened elsewhere such as the A168/A19. I suspect this will change numbers but at best the new classification is likely to be Expressway . I suspect any offline upgrade west of Kettering will be ruled out as there was a major legal action over the road as it crosses the site of the battle of Marston Moor.

Note that the main reason for the existence of the A14 is to carry containers from Felixstowe to the West Midlands while the M11 is the London to Cambridge Motorway, Functional upgrades are fine but spending large amounts of cash just for the sake of turning green signs blue are hard to justify.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by jackal » Wed May 15, 2019 13:18

The next significant upgrades will very likely be in Suffolk. I'm not aware of any comparable campaign elsewhere on the route.

https://www.suffolkchamber.co.uk/repres ... n-suffolk/

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by Mattptb » Wed May 15, 2019 13:27

A few junctions between Thrapston and Ellington do need fixing but otherwise that stretch is fine.
I guess the A14/A12 multiplex around Ipswich needs widening as you have an increase in traffic there but the Orwell crossing is an issue and would probably need a second bridge which would be expensive.
There is also the northern Cambridge bypass and whether widening is sufficient up to the A11 merge or whether something more radical is needed. Also maybe perhaps removing the non-terminus roundabout at Felixstowe to make the route entirely grade separated from the Midlands to the terminal roundabout at the port of Felixstowe, though that is probably more of a pipe dream than anything else.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by KeithW » Wed May 15, 2019 13:38

roadtester wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 13:11

At a guess, I'd say of the options you mention Wyton would be most likely because it isn't already dominated by another organisation as Duxford or Cranfield are.

I think another argument against Cranfield is that it is quite a long way from Cambridge from a commuting point of view, so a large number of Marshalls' existing skilled workforce might be reluctant or unable to make the move.

IIRC, in the past, the US-operated RAF Mildenhall was always mentioned as the likely destination for a re-based Marshalls, but the wind-down there seems to have been delayed. I suspect that if it became available, Mildenhall would be the best option, given the quality of facilities the US is likely to leave behind in terms of hangar space and so on.
Mildenhall would indeed seem to have been a candidate but the closure has apparently been pushed back to 2024 at the earliest.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-46237845

I take the point about existing employees but Cranfield University is the major establishment responsible for training aerospace engineers and research with Milton Keynes as an option for those relocating. Once the A428/Black Cat upgrade is complete the driving time from Cambridge will be about an hour.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by roadtester » Wed May 15, 2019 13:56

KeithW wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 13:38
roadtester wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 13:11

At a guess, I'd say of the options you mention Wyton would be most likely because it isn't already dominated by another organisation as Duxford or Cranfield are.

I think another argument against Cranfield is that it is quite a long way from Cambridge from a commuting point of view, so a large number of Marshalls' existing skilled workforce might be reluctant or unable to make the move.

IIRC, in the past, the US-operated RAF Mildenhall was always mentioned as the likely destination for a re-based Marshalls, but the wind-down there seems to have been delayed. I suspect that if it became available, Mildenhall would be the best option, given the quality of facilities the US is likely to leave behind in terms of hangar space and so on.
Mildenhall would indeed seem to have been a candidate but the closure has apparently been pushed back to 2024 at the earliest.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-46237845

I take the point about existing employees but Cranfield University is the major establishment responsible for training aerospace engineers and research with Milton Keynes as an option for those relocating. Once the A428/Black Cat upgrade is complete the driving time from Cambridge will be about an hour.
I'd have thought another option would be/would have been Alconbury - I believe the USAF still have at least part of this but no longer as an flying base, and plan to leave completely.

I think at one point after the Americans stopped flying, there was a plan to locate an air freight facility there given the fairly decent road and rail links but that this was turned down on planning grounds. I'm guessing Marshalls would involve fewer air movements and so on so it might stand a better chance.
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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by Berk » Wed May 15, 2019 16:16

I would be very surprised if there was as many as 10 flights per day from Cambridge Airport.

Why would a general aviation airport require such extensive facilities??

The fuss is therefore overdone - unless I’m mistaken, and it is a great deal busier.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by KeithW » Wed May 15, 2019 16:34

Berk wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 16:16
I would be very surprised if there was as many as 10 flights per day from Cambridge Airport.

Why would a general aviation airport require such extensive facilities??

The fuss is therefore overdone - unless I’m mistaken, and it is a great deal busier.
The main business there is aircraft maintenance, upgrades and certification, they employ over 2000 people in well paying jobs and have a very large installation. The Airport just happens to be where they are. If anything the handful of scheduled and general aviation flights are a distraction.

see

and


They also have a major chain of car dealerships across the road including Ford which who used to service my car :)
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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by Peter350 » Wed May 15, 2019 16:46

KeithW wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 13:15
Note that the main reason for the existence of the A14 is to carry containers from Felixstowe to the West Midlands while the M11 is the London to Cambridge Motorway, Functional upgrades are fine but spending large amounts of cash just for the sake of turning green signs blue are hard to justify.
A Thrapston - Ellington upgrade ought to justify blue signs if it was widened to D3 and had frontage access removed at the same time. This should also be the case with any future upgrades west of Thrapston.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by KeithW » Wed May 15, 2019 16:57

roadtester wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 13:56

I'd have thought another option would be/would have been Alconbury - I believe the USAF still have at least part of this but no longer as an flying base, and plan to leave completely.

I think at one point after the Americans stopped flying, there was a plan to locate an air freight facility there given the fairly decent road and rail links but that this was turned down on planning grounds. I'm guessing Marshalls would involve fewer air movements and so on so it might stand a better chance.
Alconbury has a small USAF contingent but most of it is used as a Freight transhipment depot. There may be no air freight coming in but its handy for road access from the A1(M) and A14. The ECML is close by but has restricted availability. The main runway is used to store containers and cars and the rest of the airfield is being flogged off as the Alconbury Enterprise Campus. I dont believe anything other than a helicopter could operate from there now.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by Big L » Wed May 15, 2019 18:38

A decent amount of flights in and out of Cambridge airport are Arab owned horses going to and from Newmarket.
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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by Al__S » Wed May 15, 2019 21:15

Berk wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 16:16
I would be very surprised if there was as many as 10 flights per day from Cambridge Airport.

Why would a general aviation airport require such extensive facilities??

The fuss is therefore overdone - unless I’m mistaken, and it is a great deal busier.
There's two passenger services each way, private BA flights for Astra Zeneca to Gothenburg (in the evening, via Manchester). There's quite a few freight flights, and certainly more than 10 general aviation flights.

But to continue to do the same business they currently do, they need a runway long enough to take an unladen 747-400, and a hanger that can fit one. The current operation requires the lights to be used to shut Coldham's Lane and Newmarket Road. I used to live on Perne Road and was at home once on a weekday when a 747 came in- it did a (very) low pass over, circled round and damn near took the tiles off the roof. I think the lights are needed too for 777s. The primary business of Marshall's is not running the airfield, it is aircraft maintenance and painting. The runway at Duxford would be too short, and a like-for-like replacement of the big painting hanger would be twice the footprint and taller than the Airspace hanger (hanger 1) at the museum.

Hauling the thread back round to the subject of the A14, Alconbury is not available, the airfield has been decommissioned and it is zoned for a business park, the County Council HQ and housing.

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by Scratchwood » Thu May 16, 2019 00:42

Al__S wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 21:15
Berk wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 16:16
I would be very surprised if there was as many as 10 flights per day from Cambridge Airport.

Why would a general aviation airport require such extensive facilities??

The fuss is therefore overdone - unless I’m mistaken, and it is a great deal busier.
There's two passenger services each way, private BA flights for Astra Zeneca to Gothenburg (in the evening, via Manchester). There's quite a few freight flights, and certainly more than 10 general aviation flights.

But to continue to do the same business they currently do, they need a runway long enough to take an unladen 747-400, and a hanger that can fit one. The current operation requires the lights to be used to shut Coldham's Lane and Newmarket Road. I used to live on Perne Road and was at home once on a weekday when a 747 came in- it did a (very) low pass over, circled round and damn near took the tiles off the roof. I think the lights are needed too for 777s. The primary business of Marshall's is not running the airfield, it is aircraft maintenance and painting. The runway at Duxford would be too short, and a like-for-like replacement of the big painting hanger would be twice the footprint and taller than the Airspace hanger (hanger 1) at the museum.

Hauling the thread back round to the subject of the A14, Alconbury is not available, the airfield has been decommissioned and it is zoned for a business park, the County Council HQ and housing.
Yes, the end of it was chopped off by the building of the M11!

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by Al__S » Fri May 17, 2019 07:04

there was an excellent photo in my old workplace of the B52 being delivered to the site- they had to shut the M11 as it was going to come in so low

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Re: Next A14 Upgrade

Post by KeithW » Fri May 17, 2019 07:36

Al__S wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 07:04
there was an excellent photo in my old workplace of the B52 being delivered to the site- they had to shut the M11 as it was going to come in so low
It is on video here


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