A14 exasperates again

I AND many others were spitting feathers on that Wednesday morning, but I was nowhere near the A14 at the time.

I heard the traffic report on Radio Cambridgeshire in good time to set off early to get to work in Swavesey, but I think every body else had the same idea. I started to queue on the B1050 to enter Willingham near the Earith Bridge.

It has become an almost-daily occurrence that an incident on the A14 not only gridlocks the main road but also causes major congestion on all the minor roads that feed onto the A14.

Ever since the A604 was upgraded and renamed the A14, the stretch of road between Huntingdon and Bar Hill has been a problem. Successive Roads Ministers have come to look at the problem and have gone away promising to commission ‘a study’ into the problem. Has anybody seen a report?

Two things have happened, though. First, the Government set up the Highways Agency traffic officers, heralding them as the ‘jam-busters’, though they might as well have called them the ‘jam-makers’.

On that Wednesday, they shut the road. Cars and lorries poured onto minor roads, with their drivers not having a clue were to go. If a road is closed, clear signs should be put up to direct traffic around the incident.

Secondly, I think the Government thought that a cheap option would be a rapid transit system to get commuters from Huntingdon and St Ives into Cambridge. All hail the guided busway. What a disaster.

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With the cost of setting up the Highways Agency traffic management and the final cost of the misguided bus, the money would have built the new road that will still be needed in the future.

If the council can fine BAM Nuttall �14,000 a day for not delivering the completed busway, then perhaps the Government should be fined �14,000 an hour for every hour the A14 is closed. We should have the money in no time.

Perhaps Cambridge Services should be renamed Liberation Services Square, and we could hold rallies there, fighting the Government forces who oppose the upgrade of the A14.

Don’t be silly, were British: we will just shrug our shoulders and mustn’t grumble.


Station Road