Drivers tyre of A14 jams

ROAD users on and off the A14 have had a frustrating week. Last Friday, a lorry s tyre burst shortly after 4.30am near the Hemingford Abbots service area, closing the westbound carriageway for nearly five hours. Police said the lorry s fuel tanks had rupt

ROAD users on and off the A14 have had a frustrating week.

Last Friday, a lorry's tyre burst shortly after 4.30am near the Hemingford Abbots service area, closing the westbound carriageway for nearly five hours.

Police said the lorry's fuel tanks had ruptured. It had lost tyres from two axles and had damaged the crash barrier and a speed camera.

The Highways Agency's traffic officers were called in and two teams helped police and Environment Agency (EA) officers to clear the scene and manage traffic on the entry slip road from the Hemingfords.

But soil contaminated by 400 litres of diesel fuel had to be removed and that delayed re-opening of the carriageway until 9.20am.

The EA said there was no risk of fuel leaching into watercourses because there are none near the site.

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But even those who found the A14 reasonably free yesterday (Tuesday) were held up by mile-long queues in Godmanchester throughout most of the morning peak.

Huntingdon-bound traffic had to negotiate a low-loader delivering a crane to a building site in The Avenue.

Police said they had been alerted to the problem by a member of the public, but the lorry was just leaving when they arrived. By that time it was too late for hundreds of commuters.

Last week, tipper trucks delivering aggregates to the same site caused similar morning peak-hour problems for motorists.

Huntingdonshire District Council planner Clara Kerr said the council had no powers to make developers avoid peak-hour deliveries of building materials.

"But I will have a word with them," she said.

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