£8million a year expected from A14 tolling

A14 signs

A14 signs - Credit: Archant

EIGHT million pounds a year is expected to be generated by motorists paying tolls on a new A14.

The figure was revealed following a Freedom of Information request to discover what the under secretary of state for transport Stephen Hammond told Cambridgeshire County Council at a meeting in January and what decisions were being made at other meetings about the A14 scheme.

The documents state that Mr Hammond told CCC he was working with cabinet office minister Oliver Letwin’s office to speed up the development and hoped to announce details in September. But he also said CCC’s request for a “spade in the ground” by March 2015 was unrealistic and added it was vital to analyse what the right tolls would be – to learn from the M6 toll.

According to the meeting notes, Mr Hammond told the council the benefits from the upgrade would be significant with advantages of reduced fuel consumption and journey time reliability.

The notes also revealed that in an A14 project board meeting in June, construction firm Atkins, which is working on the project, suggested retaining the Huntingdon viaduct would provide more benefits than a scheme in which it is removed. The firm said removing the structure, which is currently being strengthened to extend its life span, would lead to longer journey times. It suggested an allowance of £100million would be needed to pay for repairs and rebuilding work to give it a long-term future.

The documents also detailed how Atkins provided a forecast about the revenue from tolling between Ellington and Girton. A suggested toll of £1 for light vehicles and £2 for HGVs rather than double that “could result in positive economic benefits”, it said. Atkins calculated around £8m a year would be generated – £200m over 25 years. That is £100m less than the amount desired by the Government. The £1.5billion A14 scheme would provide a new road between Ellington in the west and Fen Ditton, in the east. The Government has asked for £150m towards the cost.