Date announced for opening of new Huntingdon bypass
- Credit: Archant
The date has been set for the opening of the Huntingdon section of the long-awaited A14 upgrade - vehicles will be able to use the new 12-mile bypass from December 9.
Huntingdon southern bypass runs between Ellington and Swavesey and is a key part of the £1.5billion scheme improving 21 miles of the route from Huntingdon to Cambridge.
Last month the Government announced that the road would open to traffic in December - a year ahead of schedule - and now Highways England has set out how the road layout will change and what drivers can expect to find on the road once it is open.
Highways England project director David Bray said: "Opening the Huntingdon southern bypass is a huge achievement in the delivery of this major road upgrade and I'd like to thank road users, residents and stakeholders for their patience and support during construction.
"Opening the new bypass will start to unlock many of the project's benefits and, together with the upgraded section of the A1 between Alconbury and Buckden, which opened earlier this year, means that the western section of the transformed A14 is essentially complete."
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Mr Bray added: "Like any new road, it will take some time for drivers to get used to driving on it, especially when the junctions have a new layout, and some have been renumbered. Please drive safely and enjoy the new road."
When the new road is open drivers travelling eastbound will still have to join a 40mph section of roadworks from the Swavesey and they have been advised to look out for signs as they approach the area.
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Junctions between Ellington and Bar Hill will be renumbered because there will be fewer of them with Ellington now being junction 21, Brampton junction 22, Godmanchester and the A1198 junction 23, Swavesey 24 and Bar Hill junction 25.
Highways England said all junctions east of, and including Girton, as well as the A1 junctions would retain their existing numbers.
At Ellington drivers will be able to join the A14 westbound and leave the road eastbound but for other movements they will have to use the Brampton Hut roundabout. The Brampton interchange will enable drivers to leave the westbound A14, join the eastbound A14 from the southbound A1 and join the northbound A1. At Godmanchester vehicles can join and leave the A14 and A1198 and at Swavesey they will be able to travel east or west on the A14 or join the local access road to travel to Cambridge or Huntingdon after the completion of the full scheme.
Work on the rest of the project between Swavesey and Milton is on target to be completed by December next year as planned. In Huntingdon the viaduct over the railway station will be demolished.
Highways England said the new A14 was designed with safety as its top priority and described the design as simple and intuitive with variable mandatory speed limits to help manage traffic to reduce congestion and ensure safety.
Slow moving vehicles will be prohibited from the new bypass and will be directed to use alternative local access roads.
Highways England said that each junction controlled specific vehicle movements and it would not always be possible to join or leave the new road in all directions from them, with the aim of ensuring that A14 traffic uses the most appropriate junction for its destination, avoiding smaller roads through local communities.