Regional contribution to A14 upgrade set at £100million

A14 sign

A14 sign - Credit: Archant

REGIONAL funding to the A14 upgrade has been set at £100million ... but only if the scheme is started in 2016/17.

At an A14 summit meeting in Cambridge last Monday (June 10), representatives from Huntingdonshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGPLEP), other county councils and LEPs from East Anglia agreed in principle to put up £100m towards the project over 25 years

The agreement is subject of a number of caveats including a cap at £100m – even if the scheme goes over budget.

Other terms include a firm announcement of the Government’s financial commitment to the A14 in the next spending round, that all contributors get public recognition, and the work should start in 2016/17.

Should the scheme be delivered under budget, the councils and LEPs have asked for their contributions to be reduced, pro rata.

The Department for Transport (DfT) asked for between £100m and £150m from the summit’s members, with the remainder of the cost of the £1.5billion project coming from tolling and Government funding.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce the amount of money the Government will contribute in the Comprehensive Spending Review next Wednesday.

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The GCGPLEP has already pledged £50m –money raised from business rates from the Alconbury Weald Enterprise Zone – with HDC adding £5m to the pot and CCC contributing around £20m.

A CCC spokesman said: “Government and local authorities have been working hard together to bring forward the A14 improvements which will boost the local and UK economy as well as reducing accidents. The critical next step in moving the scheme forward is to secure Government funding and it is hoped that there will be an announcement in the forthcoming spending review.”

A spokesman for HDC said: “We are working with our local authority and other partners to try and ensure that the government is left in no doubt as to the strength of support for this long awaited upgrade and that the progressive local authorities and other partners will be willing to make the required financial contributions in order to ensure that it becomes a reality.”

As for the timing of the work, a DfT spokesman said: “In July last year we said that construction on the A14 could start by 2018 and we are exploring ways to bring forward delivery. We will make a more detailed announcement about the delivery of the programme in due course.”