WHILE agreeing with the headline in your paper of November 16 that the problems with the A14 need to be sorted, no one seems to want to look at the causes and to try to eradicate them before taking other much more expensive and environmentally detrimental measures.
The main two reasons for the congestion and accident blockages on the A14 between the Spittals and Girton Interchanges are bad driving and the high level of HGVs using this route.
Regarding the very many accidents on this stretch of the A14, which are almost entirely due to some people’s inability to drive with due care and attention, those responsible should be much more severely penalised.
If, as you mention in your article, the cost of accidents averages out at almost £70,000 each, then this cost should be born by the responsible party’s insurance and not the community as a whole.
Also, where an accident is serious enough to block the carriageway for any considerable length of time, the responsible party should be made to take another driving test before being allowed behind the wheel again. Then perhaps the drivers who cause these problems that inconvenience so very many will be persuaded to see sense and drive more considerately in the future.
Concerning the ever-increasing number of HGVs that use this route and the many other congested routes nationally, there needs to be a move to get more freight transported by our rail network, improved where necessary, with distribution points over the country so that goods need be moved only locally to their final destination by road.
Apart from freeing our roads, this is a more environmentally friendly means of transportation.
Building a new three-lane dual carriageway to the south of the existing road for much of this section of the A14, as was suggested, although initially easing traffic flow, will take up a considerable amount of good agricultural land, encourage more vehicle usage, hence more carbon emissions and will contribute little to improving bad driving habits – thus still as many if not more accidents and blockages. All of this at a huge cost to the tax payer.
However, perhaps some money should be put to good use in upgrading the interchanges at both Spittals and Girton to improve traffic flow.
When we have a problem in this country, more times than not emphasis is placed on finding a way around the problem at a considerable cost rather than looking at the cause of the problem and trying to eradicate that cause.