Mixed bag of comments on A14 upgrade
COMMENTS on the Highways Agency s proposals for the �1.2billion upgrade of the A14 will see a mixed postbag at the agency s Bedford headquarters. It has already had qualified support from Cambridgeshire County Council, though with some objections. And Sou
COMMENTS on the Highways Agency's proposals for the �1.2billion upgrade of the A14 will see a mixed postbag at the agency's Bedford headquarters.
It has already had qualified support from Cambridgeshire County Council, though with some objections. And South Cambridgeshire District Council has decided to support the scheme and not to object formally, though it will try to sort out some concerns informally before work starts - if it ever does - at some time in 2011.
Huntingdonshire District Council is in a very similar position, having decided shortly before Christmas to back the scheme, which includes a new southern bypass for Huntingdon and Godmanchester.
A key element of the project for HDC is the demolition of the existing A14 viaduct over the East Coast main line in Huntingdon, which is a vital component of traffic management and economic development in the town centre. The viaduct is not scheduled for demolition until 2016 at the earliest, after the rest of the scheme is finished in 2015.
But the agency will not have the scheme all its own way, with objections also expected from Buckden, Brampton, the Offords and Hilton.
Buckden Parish Council is objecting on three grounds - the line of the western end of the road, which does not leave room for the A1 to be moved further west at some time in the future, what it says is the flawed and dangerous geometry of the proposed intersections between the new road and the widened A1, and its demand that the viaduct in Huntingdon is kept and repaired as a relief road.
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Council chairman Roger Harris is set to tell the agency that the cost of repairing the three central spans - all that is necessary, and even then not in the short term - would be significantly less than the cost of demolition.
The level of objection to the scheme is almost certain to mean a public inquiry this coming autumn, with up to a year elapsing before whoever is Transport Secretary by that time takes the final decision on funding and the go-ahead.