Government-backed study reveals case for upgrading A1

The A1

The A1 - Credit: Archant

A new study setting out the case to upgrade key parts of the A1 – including in Huntingdonshire – has been published by the Department for Transport.

The A1 East of England Strategic Study was one of six reports commissioned by the department last year to address some of the biggest challenges facing the road network.

The study was finally published this week and highlighted the need for improvements to be made to parts of the 62-mile section of the road between London and Peterborough.

A number of options to improve the A1 will be developed, including a new motorway section between Baldock and Huntingdon, improving junctions and upgrading the east to west connectivity around the route.

According to the study, traffic flowed well between junctions 14-17 of the A1(M), from Alconbury to Peterborough, but problems with congestion and traffic flow remained severe between a stretch of the A1 between Biggleswade and Huntingdon.

The study also showed improving the road could cut congestion and help reduce the environmental impact of the existing layout, especially for those who live metres away from the A1.

Transport Minister John Hayes said: “I want people across the east of England to benefit from quicker, more reliable journeys.

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“Our cities and towns are the lifeblood of our economy and they, as well as our rural communities, need strong connections to thrive.

“We are already spending £15 billion on the biggest upgrade to the road network for generations.

“This next phase is aimed at creating more vital links, creating jobs and opportunities and helping hardworking families across the country feel the benefits of our investment.”

The study is part of the government’s next phase of road improvements, which will get under way from 2020.

A final report based on the A1 study will be completed in the next six months and will then be used to inform the development of the government’s next Road Investment Strategy.