A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

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c2R
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A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by c2R » Mon Sep 09, 2013 09:27

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-ca ... e-24007800
Proposals for a new stretch of the A14 to be funded by a toll system have been revealed.

The Highways Agency on Monday begins its consultation over the £1.5bn scheme between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

The plan put forward is for a new stretch of A14 between Ellington and Swavesey and a widening of the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury.

According to the consultation document, the toll of between £1 and £1.50 for cars would be for the new A14 stretch.

It says the toll cost could be double for heavy goods vehicles.

Heading out from Ellington, the new stretch heads south and east bypassing Huntingdon.

The Highways Agency says the existing A14 through Huntingdon will no longer be needed as a strategic through-route and will no longer be a trunk road when the new scheme is completed.

As a result, the bridge over the mainline railway, close to Huntingdon Station, will be demolished.

Whether or not the road should be a toll road will not form part of the consultation process, which finishes on 13 October.

Instead, the public will be asked about "the best and most convenient way that tolls could be applied and also on the lengths of road over which tolls could be charged."

If construction begins in 2016, the new stretch should be completed within three or four years, the Highways Agency said.
Last edited by michael769 on Mon Sep 09, 2013 09:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by WHBM » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:29

The Highways Agency says the existing A14 through Huntingdon will no longer be needed as a strategic through-route and will no longer be a trunk road when the new scheme is completed.

As a result, the bridge over the mainline railway, close to Huntingdon Station, will be demolished.
In my experience (which is M11-A14-A1 north/south), northbound typically am and southbound pm, the current A14 rarely gives any issue, maintaining 60-70 mph throughout is not a problem, and I would therefore not take the toll road.

Demolishing the key bridge at Huntingdon, however, on the existing route, for which no current alternate exists, just comes over as an act of spite by the DfT to ensure I don't continue to use what is broadly a satisfactory route. I would have thought the people of Huntingdon would be immediately opposed to the diversion of residual A14 local/regional traffic through the town.

Presumably the £1 toll will just be at the beginning, and will be subject to regular doubling over time.

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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by samxool » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:47

so the existing A14 is going to be retained, and the A14Toll will be parallel to it?
No one will use the Toll road in that case??
Am i missing something?

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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by haymansafc » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:05

It never fails to surprise me at the lengths the DfT are considering going to, to make the free alternative as difficult as possible to use. Some may disagree with me but in my opinion it's an act of blatant contempt for the motorist and something which should be fought tooth and nail against.

Demolition of the existing dualled bridge over the railway would be unwelcome news for the people of Huntingdon. Even at local level, the existing dual carriageway would serve as a western bypass and of course for those who'd rather not pay a toll. There is nothing wrong or even remotely 'naughty' with that. Demolishing the bridge would mean everyone would have no choice but to go right through the middle of Huntingdon. Whether it be local or distance traffic. They'd be moving backwards in terms of progress.

Instead, the public will be asked about "the best and most convenient way that tolls could be applied and also on the lengths of road over which tolls could be charged."

Best and most convenient way? That's easy – no toll. Second best? Toll the new route and leave the existing A14 largely unaffected. The public may be asked but when it comes to motoring you can guarantee they will not be listened to – unless it involves painful and unaffordable extraction of yet further cash from them.
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by RichardA35 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:20

Perhaps with investing many milions in a new A14 TPTB are trying to improve the environment for Huntingdon by removing the noisy corridor of the A14 from their area. This would seem to be a worthwhile outcome, notwithstanding that the viaduct is in need of life extending repair/strenthening if it is to continue to be used with the same traffic loading.

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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by WHBM » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:39

Maybe then a 3T weight limit on the bridge will solve HGV noise, bridge life, and avoid most traffic diverting through the town centre.

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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by A303Chris » Mon Sep 09, 2013 13:56

£1 to start. Yes I remember the M6 Toll when it open was £2, didnt take long for that to rise.

And removing the railway bridge is wrong. In France there is always a sensible alternative to the Autoroute, this approcah will cause congstion in Huntingdon or force people to pay £1
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by JohnnyMo » Mon Sep 09, 2013 14:19

WHBM wrote:Demolishing the key bridge at Huntingdon, however, on the existing route, for which no current alternate exists, just comes over as an act of spite by the DfT to ensure I don't continue to use what is broadly a satisfactory route.
Bridge is at end of life. would need a multi-million refurbishment to keep it open.
Maybe as you suggested a 3T limit would be safe, but I'm not a structural engineer so I don't know.
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by wrinkly » Mon Sep 09, 2013 14:56

haymansafc wrote:It never fails to surprise me at the lengths the DfT are considering going to, to make the free alternative as difficult as possible to use. Some may disagree with me but in my opinion it's an act of blatant contempt for the motorist and something which should be fought tooth and nail against.
The bridge demolition was proposed before a toll was proposed.

Perhaps what should have been fought tooth and nail against was putting the road and bridge there in the first place. I think it was already an old idea when it was built.

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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by c2R » Mon Sep 09, 2013 15:19

I thought that the bridge had been shored up for the foreseeable future after the recent works?
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by haymansafc » Mon Sep 09, 2013 15:43

I wasn't aware that demolition of the bridge was on the cards before the toll was proposed, so fair enough! With that in mind, I presume a plan was or would have been in place for it's replacement if it was in bad enough condition to warrant it? Surely there would have been something planned to avoid chopping the A14 in two? Another bridge or maybe a tunnel underneath the railway?

However, it doesn’t really really change the situation that a truly viable free alternative is not proposed with the 'A14 Toll' proposal. Reading other articles on the subject in recent months, the DfT seem fairly adamant on reducing speed limits, adding roundabouts e.t.c (or allowing the local authorities to do so…) to the existing route. 'Butchery' of what's already there, in effect.

I'd be interested to know what else was proposed for bypassing Huntington before the existing bridge was built – if anything at all.
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by Helvellyn » Mon Sep 09, 2013 15:51

A303Chris wrote: In France there is always a sensible alternative to the Autoroute, this approcah will cause congstion in Huntingdon or force people to pay £1
There wasn't much sign of it around Nice. There are alternatives (the one bit that didn't seem to have one at all was untolled) but I didn't find a good one.

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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by c2R » Mon Sep 09, 2013 16:03

Looks like the page for the scheme on the HA site has been comprehensively updated today with the various options: http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-p ... nt-scheme/
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by c2R » Mon Sep 09, 2013 16:12

Light vehicles will be able to use the de-trunked route of the former A14 through Huntingdon and a short length of Brampton Road. Heavy traffic will have two non-tolled alternatives: either via the A1 and the A428 from St Neots to Cambridge; or via the county A-roads through St Ives and the northern outskirts of Huntingdon.
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by A303Chris » Mon Sep 09, 2013 17:11

c2R wrote:
Light vehicles will be able to use the de-trunked route of the former A14 through Huntingdon and a short length of Brampton Road. Heavy traffic will have two non-tolled alternatives: either via the A1 and the A428 from St Neots to Cambridge; or via the county A-roads through St Ives and the northern outskirts of Huntingdon.
In other words use the toll road or you are stuffed.

The consultation is also here on the Government Uk website

It seems the toll road will only be the new road south of Huntingdon and the on line widening section will be free. It does therefore seem the A14(M) will become a spur in HUntingdon only with the railway bridge removed, with A1 / A14 southbound traffic diverted via the new toll road
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by crb11 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 17:12

In Huntingdon, the best I can tell from the map is that they're going to bring the A14 down to a roundabout on the B1514 Brampton Road just east of the railway, and on the west side build a new link road through which presumably has to run across the green area east of Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Is this what other people think and is it reasonably technically feasible?
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by echowarning » Mon Sep 09, 2013 18:14

There is a clear choice - either we fund the works by securing future revenue or we don't fund them at all.

Clearly, the A14 is broken here - I'd wager than 50% of my journeys along the A1(M)-M11 stretch of the A14 are delayed by a minimum of 30 minutes every time.

So, a cautious 'yes please' from me - I'd rather see the M11 traffic be routed completely past Girton if possible, or the A14 movements taken further west - simply because of the huge number of movements that seem to take place.

But otherwise, yes, £1.5 to get rid of a regular hold up is worth it for me.

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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by darkcape » Mon Sep 09, 2013 18:42

I agree. I went along that stretch of the A14 from the A1(M) to Cambridge on Friday at around 11am and barely got above 60mph for the majority of the stretch of road, and it's usually like that.

£1 is a reasonable charge for the toll, however, as has been already mentioned, it would have to remain at that price. Increases to £5 etc would turn it into another M6 Toll.
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by c2R » Mon Sep 09, 2013 18:56

darkcape wrote:I agree. I went along that stretch of the A14 from the A1(M) to Cambridge on Friday at around 11am and barely got above 60mph for the majority of the stretch of road, and it's usually like that.

£1 is a reasonable charge for the toll, however, as has been already mentioned, it would have to remain at that price. Increases to £5 etc would turn it into another M6 Toll.
£1.00-£1.50 for cars at 2011 prices, double that for HGVs; with the road being in service by 2020 - so we're probably looking at £3 for cars and £6 for HGVs at that point. I'll be looking for other routes to save the return journey cost.
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Re: A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon "news"

Post by PeterA5145 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 18:58

Whether or not the road should be a toll road will not form part of the consultation process, which finishes on 13 October.

Instead, the public will be asked about "the best and most convenient way that tolls could be applied and also on the lengths of road over which tolls could be charged."
Classic begging the question, in the correct sense of the term.

It's a bit like saying "we're going to remove one of your limbs - please tell us which limb you would choose and what would be your preferred method of amputation."

Even at a level of £1.50 there would be a noticeable amount of traffic diversion, especially for longer-distance strategic journeys where there is more choice of alternative routes.
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