East Cambs to decide whether to pay £1million to A14 upgrade


A14 - Credit: Archant

A DECISION will be made on Thursday (September 5) whether to commit cash from taxpayers in East Cambridgeshire to support the multi-million pound project to upgrade the A14 running between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

Councillors on the development and transport committee will discuss whether to spend £40,000 a year for the next 25 years – a total of £1million - on funding the building work, which has an estimated total cost of £1.5billion.

Council officers have recommended that councillors approve the plans, highlighting, in their view, that the economy in East Cambs was “heavily reliant on the A14 for links to the wider regional, national and European economies”.

Officers are proposing a scheme whereby funds received by the district council from developers building new houses, known as the community infrastructure levy, would be siphoned off to meet the annual £40,000 contribution.

The council estimates that it will receive as much as £27 million from developers over the next 25 years.

The council is also hoping to part-fund Soham railway station, Littleport secondary school and Ely’s new leisure centre from the same pot.

A report by Giles Hughes, the council’s head of development, said: “A potential funding source for an East Cambridgeshire contribution is the community infrastructure levy.

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“Regulations require the council to publish a list of the infrastructure likely to be funded from the levy on our website. At present the council’s list refers to three projects; Littleport secondary school, Ely leisure centre, and Soham railway station. “This list will need to be amended if infrastructure levy funding is to be used for the A14, although the inclusion of a project on the list does not signify a commitment from the council to definitely fund the project.

“Government guidance requires the council to carry out appropriate local consultation on any proposed changes, with the final decision on any changes made at a full council meeting.”