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Huntingdon to Cambridge A14 upgrade to include new cycle path

New route will provide direct ride into city from outlying villages

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.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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