Britain’s biggest road project restores river footpath on A14

Vehicles using the 750-metre long River Great Ouse viaduct on the new A14.

Vehicles using the 750-metre long River Great Ouse viaduct on the new A14. - Credit: Highways England

Around 85,000 drivers are benefitting daily from the upgrade of the A14 – and now walkers will see £42,500 invested in clearance and surfacing works along its river banks. 

The project funded by Highways England and Cambridgeshire County Council will see pedestrians and local communities able to enjoy a number of upgrades along the Ouse Valley Way. 

MORE: Landmark A14 viaduct demolition is captured on camera

Improvement works were undertaken during Spring 2021 along the path and included clearance works to make large sections alongside the river between Buckden and Diddington accessible that were previously eroding. 

River footpaths restored along the A14 as part of £42.500 funding.

River footpaths restored along the A14 as part of £42.500 funding. - Credit: Highways England

A number of kissing gates were removed and surfacing works to remove steps at bridges and boardwalks. 

Laura Hampshire, senior project manager on Highways England’s A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, said: “While our work is primarily to improve roads, making journeys safer and shorter for drivers, Highways England takes a holistic approach of improving the environments and communities which we work in and around.  

“Now walkers and riders will enjoy the improvements made along this historic path that will deliver lasting benefits for users and communities.  

“We hope that people will enjoy these upgrades for generations to come, and see that our work extends beyond merely upgrading roads.” 

River footpaths restored along the A14 as part of £42.500 funding.

River footpaths restored along the A14 as part of £42.500 funding. - Credit: Highways England

Great Ouse Valley Trust trustee Ian Jackson with one of the information boards

Great Ouse Valley Trust trustee Ian Jackson with one of the information boards. - Credit: Highways England

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Further work included the design and installation of 12 new interpretation boards along the Ouse Valley Way from St Neots to Earith to inform people of the natural habitat and history of the river.  

The work will also cover replacing 30 signs with dedicated Ouse Valley Way signs, and installing 100 high visibility way marker posts to make the route more navigable. 

The 150-mile long route follows the River Great Ouse - with 26 miles running through Cambridgeshire as it snakes through St Neots, St Ives, and Godmanchester. 

The Great Ouse Valley Trust chairman Graham Campbell, said: “The Highways England funding enabled us to use the expertise of our trustees, design contacts and advisors to completely rewrite and illustrate all the existing information boards on the route, plus two new ones.  

“We have included heritage sites, plus notes on personal safety and the Countryside Code.” 

Highways England has now finished the majority of work on its £1.5 billion upgrade of the A14 following the opening of a new 12-mile bypass in December 2019, and the rest of the 21-mile stretch being upgraded to three lanes last May. 

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