Feather lorry fire closes A14 for eight hours

MOTORISTS were being advised to avoid large chunks of Huntingdonshire on Wednesday morning after the A14 was closed in both directions because of a lorry fire.

THE westbound carriageway of the A14 in Huntingdonshire has reopened after a day of traffic chaos which saw the road shut for over eight hours.

The road re-opened at 2.20pm this afternoon (Wednesday) after being closed when a lorry caught fire at 5.50am this morning.

The section at junctions 25 and 26 between Hemingford Abbots and St Ives, and the westbound interchange near Girton were all closed, as police advised drivers to seek alternative routes.

The eastbound A14 was also closed at junctions 24 and 25 between Godmanchester and St Ives, but reopened at 8.36am.

Surrounding roads, where traffic was being diverted earlier – the A1198 and A428, were still experiencing up to 20-minute delays, as is the A1303 around Madingley.

These were expected to clear as traffic begins to move again, the Highways Agency said.

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The lorry was carrying feathers for duvets and clothing when it caught alight - witnesses reported seeing flames 20ft high.

The fire was tackled by 27 firefighters from five crews.

What was the cost to you of yet another long delay caused by an incident on the A14? Late for work, children late for school, lost work and money because of the delays? E-mail editor@huntspost.co.uk or call the newsdesk on 01480 411481.

Readers’ comments:

I’ve potentially lost �150 in freelance today. (I’m a magazine journalist.)

I live in Dry Drayton and when travelling to work in Peterborough I usually use the A428-A1198 to avoid the A14. Seems like there was just no getting round it today. I left home at 8am and decided to abandon the journey (which usually takes just 35 mins) an hour later. I’d managed to get as far as the outskirts of St Ives. Am now at home watching telly with cup of tea. Might try again later.

Liz Potter

It’s just taken me three and a bit hours for a daily journey that normally takes about 55 minutes (from near Royston to Peterborough). Fortunately I have tolerant employers, but others may not be so lucky in these hard times.

Isn’t it about time haulage companies were fined for delays caused by their vehicles, if it’s due to inadequate maintenance or bad driving? Maybe a sliding cost scale (depending on the status of the road involved) for each lane closed in one or both directions, multiplied by the time before the offending vehicle could be cleared and the lane(s) reopened? That would concentrate a few minds!

Tony Turner

Odsey, UK.