Huntingdon to Cambridge A14 upgrade to include new cycle path

New route will provide direct ride into city from outlying villages

by John Stevenson   May 23, 2014  

cambridge bikes.jpg

A planned upgrade of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon will include a 3m wide bike path, providing a route for residents of outlying villages to get into Cambridge by bike.

The £1.5 billion scheme is intended to relieve congestion on a section of dual carriageway of which the Highways Agency says: “Almost 85,000 vehicles use this stretch of the A14 every day; significantly more than the level originally designed for. Around quarter of this is heavy goods vehicles - well above the national average for this type of road.” As a result, the road becomes extremely congested at peak times.

As well as frustrating drivers, the existing A14 dual carriageway is not a road any cyclist in their right mind would choose to use. Campaigners have been pointing out for years that it effectively makes unusable the direct route into Cambridge from villages to the north-west, even though the flat terrain makes the journey easily rideable.

According to Cambridge News’ Chris Havergal, the project to upgrade the A14 will now include a cycle route from Swavesey to Cambridge. The new cycleway is expected to be at least 3m wide and to connect with existing cycle routes on Huntingdon Road.

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme proposals include a non-motorised road user (NMU) route as part of the proposed improvements.

“It is envisaged that it will be of a similar standard to that associated with the guided busway.

“The project team is actively discussing the scheme footprint design with NMU groups and the proposed improvement scheme is currently going through a public consultation. We welcome comments from the local community on the design aspects of the scheme and would include all these comments as feedback to the current consultative exercise.”

Cambridge cyclists will however be hoping that the new route is not too similar to the guided busway bike path. The busway linking Cambridge with St Ives includes a wide, well-surfaced path that tends to be flooded and impassable in winter.

Work will start on the A14 upgrade in 2016 and is planned to be complete in 2020.

7 user comments

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Awesome! Long overdue, and just a shame we will have to wait for another 6+ years

posted by outcastjack [9 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 11:32

16 Likes

Awesome if they include a cleaning/clearing budget for it that is meaningful. More than once per year Cambs Highways else it will be a white elephant in 6 months covered in bottles of lorry drivers pee, rubbish and broken glass.

Hamster's picture

posted by Hamster [78 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 11:42

23 Likes

awesome! now do this on the Scottish A9 dualling and A96 dualling instead of the "we will ensure adequate provision for cyclists at appropriate junction areas" and then follow up with a "insufficient funds" excuse when the details plans come out showing no provision (apart from having to make us go around it with a 5k detour)

posted by a_to_the_j [85 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 14:09

13 Likes

There is already the bike path on the guided busway which can take you to town via Histon or Girton with hardly any danger, although you do have to cross sides a few times for some strange reason. Condition of guided busway path is near perfect and it is easily accessible to all the villages in the area and gets a fair bit of use for commuting and riding/training. I use it a lot as it's a nice ride up to St Ives and some other places. Absolutely no point spending a fortune making a path near a noisy, polluted road when you can go down a quiet, pleasant path in the countryside.

There's a lot of money sloshing around Cambridge for cycle projects but the people in charge don't seem to have a clue how to use it.

posted by Alan Tullett [1468 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 14:17

27 Likes

The cost of adding the cycleway is going to be a negligible part of a £1.5 billion project, and presumably this shouldn't reduce any other cycling budget, so I don't think cost comes into it. Plus "It will run alongside the single carriageway local access road" so it isn't some blue paint next to the juggernauts. If this sets a trend for similar additions to other road builds/improvements it must be a good thing?

I agree that the villages to the north of the A14 are already well served by the existing busway but I could see this opening up places like Bar Hill that are completely cut off (cycling-wise)

posted by 3cylinder [70 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 16:07

12 Likes

3cylinder wrote:
The cost of adding the cycleway is going to be a negligible part of a £1.5 billion project, and presumably this shouldn't reduce any other cycling budget, so I don't think cost comes into it. Plus "It will run alongside the single carriageway local access road" so it isn't some blue paint next to the juggernauts. If this sets a trend for similar additions to other road builds/improvements it must be a good thing?

I agree that the villages to the north of the A14 are already well served by the existing busway but I could see this opening up places like Bar Hill that are completely cut off (cycling-wise)

Ah, interesting that you mention Bar Hill as I go there by bike to see my daughter play football. You can get there through a path from Dry Drayton and then by Madingley and the path down Madingley Road or you can go across the roundabout and then down through Longstanton, Oakington, Girton, which is rather a detour. A path that side of the A14 might get a bit of use but it would be pretty unpleasant to use given the pollution levels near that road and upgrading the way out of Bar Hill to Dry Drayton, which isn't very good, would be better in the short term at least. But in the article it mentions Swavesey, which is very near the guided busway.

Bar Hill is undoubtedly a car ghetto and does need some better cycle routes out of it, especially to the Histon Road/Milton Road side of Cambridge where a lot of people work, Science Park etc. But to be honest if you work in that area and want to cycle to work you wouldn't live in Bar Hill. Access to the city centre is far more direct by the Dry Drayton route and just needs a bit of tarmac to improve it.

posted by Alan Tullett [1468 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 18:28

10 Likes

Cycling on the GBW is pure joy, 14 miles of bliss. Up there with the Dutch cycle network. Away from the busy A14, quiet and no traffic pollution. No way would cycling adjacent to a major new A14 be preferable to riding the GBW. Swavesey is already served by the GBW. Why not make new cycle paths adjacent to railway lines instead?

More importantly the GBW at Milton north of Cambridge needs to be linked with the route running south to Addenbrookes.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [494 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 21:34

10 Likes