Some 1,700 runners and cyclists were among the first people to step foot on the new A14 Huntingdon bypass on Saturday, raising thousands for local charities.

Bike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANTBike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANT

Participants were taking part in the A14 Great Ouse Challenge on Britain's biggest road project, ahead of it opening to drivers later this year.

Together, they raised more than £17,000 for local charities the East Anglian Air Ambulance and East Anglia Children's Hospices in the process.

Last week, roads minister Baroness Vere announced that the new 12-mile bypass - part of a 21-mile, £1.5bn upgrade for the A14 - would open to traffic in December, a full year ahead of the original schedule. The almost-completed road was the setting for a series of races, organised and marshalled by Highways England staff working on the project who were keen to give something back to local communities with the fund raising event.

The day saw a mixture of races, first off was the wheelchair athletes and then cyclists completing their choice of seven kilometre or 14km courses, with runners then able to tackle the same distances. There was also a children's 1.4km fun run in the afternoon.

Bike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANTBike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANT

Bike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANTBike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANT

Bike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANTBike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANT

Bike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANTBike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANT

Bike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANTBike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANT

Bike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANTBike and foot races were held on a new stretch of the A14 near Huntingdon. Picture: ARCHANT