Last reviewed 15 May 2020

Britain’s biggest road-building project is opening for traffic eight months ahead of schedule, Highways England has announced, with the last of the 24/7 roadworks having been removed from the A14 (Cambridge to Huntingdon).

While the national 70mph speed limit has now been restored, some work will continue in order to complete landscaping as well as cycle, horse riding and pedestrian paths.

This will mean that some temporary overnight closures or off-peak daytime lane closures will be needed.

The agency said that the £1.5 billion scheme will take up to 20 minutes off journeys and strengthen links between the Midlands and the East of England as well as vastly improving access to and from the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe.

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “This upgrade is a key addition to our national infrastructure, better linking the North of England and the Midlands to the East of England and to the Haven ports. It also brings economic benefits to the wider region and local towns and communities.”

The early opening of the upgraded A14 has been warmly welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) with its Head of South of England and Urban Policy, Natalie Chapman, describing it as a road plagued with congestion and safety issues for some time.

She agreed that one of the main benefits was that the road represents an important strategic link for freight transport, connecting the ports in East Anglia with the Midlands and the rest of England.

“Our members — who continue to work tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 outbreak — will benefit greatly from the improved reliability, connectivity and safety this vital upgrade affords,” she concluded.