Motorists may face toll charges for new A14 road scheme


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The Independent Online

Drivers could have to pay to use a 20-mile section of new road which will form part of a major investment in highways in eastern England announced today by the Government.

The A14 corridor scheme in Cambridgeshire has been added to the Department for Transport's major projects programme and work could start by 2018.

The department said funding for the improvements could be generated in part through tolling a length of the enhanced A14, featuring 20 miles of new or widened road.

But it added that more work would be done "to determine the best tolling solution, including what length the tolled section should be, how users would pay and what the tariff should be".

The project includes:

:: Widening of the Cambridge Northern bypass between Milton and Girton and enhancement of the Girton interchange

:: Provision of high-standard roads for local traffic use running in parallel to an enhanced A14 carriageway between Girton and the area near the current Trinity Foot A14 junction;

:: Construction of a bypass to the south of Huntingdon between the area near Trinity Foot and the A1, at both ends tying in with the existing A14.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: "The A14 is a crucial strategic route for the east of England, vital not only for international road traffic using the port of Felixstowe but everyone who relies on it daily.

"This is why my department has been working hard to generate innovative and imaginative solutions to tackling long term congestion and I am pleased to be able to unveil what we believe to be the best option for people living locally as well as those who see it as a lifeline to international markets.

"It demonstrates yet again that this coalition Government is focused on delivering economic growth and our determination to do everything we can to support delivery of key national infrastructure."

The Government also announced a package of desirable rail investment that will include major improvements at Ely, Peterborough and Leicester, and which will enable more freight to be carried by rail between Felixstowe and Nuneaton.

Ms Greening has allocated £200 million to the Strategic Freight Network to fund network enhancements of this kind at the request of the rail freight industry.