More improvements coming to A14

MORE than £600 million is to be spent on improvements to the A14 - bringing a huge boost for the Port of Felixstowe.

MORE than £600 million is to be spent on improvements to the A14 - bringing a huge boost for the Port of Felixstowe.

Although most of the work is taking place many miles from the container terminal, the main benefit will be to ease the flow of traffic and reduce hold-ups for its main customers, truck drivers.

The A14 is vital to the port, taking traffic to the Midlands and north and is used by thousands of lorries delivering and collecting cargo every day.

The Highways Agency has announced a £490 million project to improve the dual carriageway from Ellington to the north east of Cambridge - where traffic regularly grinds to a standstill because the road is unable to cope with the sheer volume - with a new three-lane link.

The Department for Transport has also unveiled an £89.5m project to provide the A14 with electronic journey information, warnings of upcoming congestion and advice on alternative routes.

The technology, which includes incident detection sensors in the road surface that provide real-time traffic updates to electronic signs above the road, will be installed along a 62-mile stretch of the A14 from the M1 to Felixstowe. Work will begin by February 2009.

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Meanwhile, work is continuing on the Haughley New Street to Stowmarket project.

Part of the £32m scheme, a new 2.3-mile dual carriageway to avoid a notorious accident blackspot, is now open and completion is expected by December.

Port corporate affairs chief Paul Davey said: “It is a massive investment which will make a real difference to journeys along the A14.

“Like other organisations, we have been lobbying for improvements and keeping the pressure up on government, which has recognised that the A14 must be viewed as a priority.

“We are very pleased and are sure it will be a major benefit to everyone in this area.”

Designs are also currently being drawn up for improvements to the dock spur roundabout and the Copdock interchange to cope with the extra traffic when the port expands.