Railfreight not a realistic alternative to A14 upgrade
I CANNOT believe what Kenneth Attwood was saying in his letter (July 20). What is a bigger blight on the landscape of Cambridgeshire: a slightly wider A14, allowing traffic to flow freely without hold-ups, or banning certain HGVs from using a particular road?
Look at the upgraded A1 from Alconbury to Norman Cross: any complaints about HGVs there? No.
On the subject of that old chestnut ‘let’s put it back on the railway’, poppycock. Dr Beeching killed off all the branch lines, because they were running at a loss. So, in reality these days, goods can be moved only between rail heads: very handy if you need to shift 20 tonnes of gravel from Somersham pit into Cambridge.
Consider this: if goods were to be put back on the railways, they would have to be taken to rail heads by trucks and moved on at the other end, again by trucks. The fact is the reason food and goods bought in the shops are the price they are is because trucks deliver them by the most efficient means available. If it ever was the case that the railways were more cost effective, don’t your readers think transport operators would use them?.
On the subject of HGV drivers’ standards, my own opinion is that car drivers drive too fast for the conditions: 50mph is perfectly fast enough for the A14 a peak times. How often do you see car drivers in the outside lane accelerating and then breaking?
The reason HGVs are involved in accidents is because they are large and slow, and cars skid into them.
Finally, the mobile crane that was forced off the road by a van the other week on the A14 was not an HGV, but mobile plant like a JCB.
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