IT IS quite encouraging for us A14 users to know that our local newspaper has joined hands with our MP’s appeal to the UK coalition government to reconsider the A14 upgrade as a national benefit.
No doubt the A14 is a national highway and the main connecting road link between Europe and the UK throughout its length and breadth. It connects the M11, M1, A1(M) and M6.
Recently a friend asked me to attend a free public meeting entitled ‘Managing our roads’ at the Cambridge Golf and Conference Centre, Hemingford Abbots. It was a very well organised meeting by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
I must say that the organisers were very generous and very welcoming to those who attended, but I cannot say that it was well attended. Out of the 48 seats provided fewer than 15 were occupied. Perhaps this showed some public apathy to matters related to the A14 after our coalition government’s rejection of the A14 improvement plan [in October 2010].
The speaker, Alan Kirkdale, a civil servant from the Department for Transport, told us how important the A14 is as far as the country’s trade and transportation are concerned. This road is of European importance from its beginning at Felixstowe to towards its end near the M6 and M1 junctions. All 210 kilometres (126 miles) of it.
We also learned how many different types of cameras have been working on this road, including CCTV and speed cameras. We were also told how many control centres this road has, including those at Nottingham and Birmingham.
We also learned that the total cost of building this road was £2.2billion.
What we all wanted to hear from Mr Kirkdale, but didn’t, was this: has the Department for Transport got any plan to improve the present A14 as far as the frequent occurrence of pile-ups major and minor accidents, rush-hour traffic jams, loss of trade, time-wastage etc are concerned.
Is it fair to the millions of A14 users every year?
Dr TARAK GHOSH
Rotary Club of Huntingdon
St John’s Street