A14 road (England)

A14 road (England)

UK road routebox
road= A14
length-mi= 127
length-km= 204
direction= East / West
start= Catthorpe
destinations= Rugby
Market Harborough
Bury St Edmunds
end= Felixstowe
junctions= ukmotorwaysmall|1
euroroute= European route number sign|30European route number sign|24

The A14 is a major road in England, running 204 km (127 miles) from the Port of Felixstowe to the junction of the M1 and M6 motorways near Rugby. The road forms part of the unsigned Euroroutes E24 and E30.


From the Port of Felixstowe the road heads west, bypassing Ipswich, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Cambridge, St Ives, Huntingdon and Kettering. From the A12 west of Ipswich to the M1/M6 junction, the A14 is part of (but not signed as) the E-road erd|24. The remainder from Ipswich to Felixstowe is part of erd|30.

The entire road is a dual carriageway,and there is a six-lane stretch (three lanes each way) on the Newmarket bypass (between Junctions 36 and 38) where this road runs concurrent with the A11, carrying traffic from London to Norwich and a short stretch north of the Girton Interchange as far as Bar Hill is also six-lane.

The road is particularly busy around Cambridge and Kettering; it is heavily used by trucks carrying freight from the Port of Felixstowe (Britain's busiest container port) and the Midlands, North West and Ireland and a number of schemes are at the planning stage to increase capacity on the most congested sections.

The A14 runs concurrent with the A12 road from the Copdock Interchange over the Orwell Bridge to the Seven Hills Interchange, which forms the Ipswich Southern bypass.

There are four at-grade junctions along the road: with the B663 at Bythorn in Cambridgeshire (junction 15); at the Leighton Bromswold turn a few kilometres to the east (junction 17); at the Haughley Bends West of Stowmarket in Suffolk (junction 48); and at the Dockspur Roundabout at the edge of Felixstowe (junction 60). Major works are currently in progress to rationalise the road line and junction arrangement at the Haughley Bends.

The numbering of the A14 is inconsistent with the national road numbering scheme, as it begins in zone 5 and crosses through zone 6 on the way to zone 1 east of Huntingdon to Felixstowe.


East of the Girton Interchange with the M11 at Cambridge, the A14 used to be known as the A45, and much of the long-distance traffic further west had previously used the A45 route. The section between Cambridge and Kettering used to be the A604 apart from a short section near Kettering that used to be part of the A6. The remainder of the road between Kettering and Rugby was built at the time of the road's reclassification in 1991. [ cite web
title=A14 on UK Motorway Archive - History
] [ cite web
title=A14 on UK Motorway Archive - Statistics and options.

The road known as the A14 until the mid-90's is now the A1198 between Royston, Hertfordshire and Godmanchester but, confusingly, retains its A14 designation north of Godmanchester until it meets the A1 road near Alconbury; thus forming a 'spur' off the main A14.

Work to improve the at-grade junction at Rougham (junction 45), east of Bury St Edmunds, to a compact grade-separated junction was completed in 2006, along with the realignment of carriageway over a two-mile (3 km) stretch to the east of Bury St Edmunds.

A congestion reduction scheme was introduced in Spring 2007 on the eastbound carriageway approaching Welford summit, just prior to the junction with the A5199 (Junction 1). The scheme bans vehicles over 7.5 tonnes from the outside lane between 6am and 6pm over the convert|2|mi|km|sing=on steep climb to Welford summit. A similar scheme covers convert|2|mi|km of the westbound carriageway from Junction 2 including a particularly steep climb to Naseby summit. It intended that these schemes will reduce parallel running by lorries as they attempt to pass each other, which can hold up long queues of carscite web
author=Highways Agency
title=A14 Journey Time Trial
] .

Upgrades underway

Haughley Bends

Work started in June 2007 the new two-lane dual carriageway at Haughley Bends to rationalise access using a new grade-separated junction.cite web|url=http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/13030.aspx |title= Highways Agency |work=Stowmarket to Haughley New Street improvement works|accessmonthday= 18 June|accessyear= 2007] . The road opened in the summer of 2008., and the balance of the work (including downgrading the previous alignment) will be finished by December 2008cite web|url=http://www.eveningstar.co.uk/content/eveningstar/news/story.aspx?brand=ESTOnline&category=News&tBrand=ESTOnline&tCategory=news&itemid=IPED21%20Sep%202007%2007%3A06%3A13%3A530|title= stowmarket.angle |title=Minister praises A14 safety bid|work=Evening Star|date=2007-09-21|accessdate=2008-01-20] .

The junction at Haughley Bends had long been one of Suffolk's most notorious accident blackspots. [ cite web
title=Haughley Bends transformation under way

Proposed upgrades

Ellington to Fen Ditton

In March 2005 the Highways Agency unveiled its plans to upgrade the A14 between Ellington and Fen Ditton [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/cambridgeshire/content/articles/2005/04/05/a14_ellington_feature.shtml|title=A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton Consultation|publisher=BBC Cambridgeshire|date=2006-06-06|accessdate=2008-01-20] . Details of the preferred route for the Fen Drayton to Fen Ditton section were published in March 2007 which would broadly follow the current routecite web
author=Highways Agency
title=A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton
] and for the Ellington to Fen Drayton section in October 2007 which will take a new route further south to the Brampton Interchange before tracking the A1 north to Ellington. As well as the construction of a new road between Ellington and Fen Drayton, the new route would involve the demolition of the Huntingdon viaduct and construction of a new junction with Brampton Road for local Huntingdon traffic.

The contract for the scheme was awarded to Costain Skanska Joint Venture on 28 January 2008 who will now work on detailed plans and the Highways Agency will then publish a draft order. Depending on the number of objections received, a Public Inquiry (PI) may be needed to examine the objections. The Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will then made a decision with the advice of the inspector in the PI. The scheme is expected to open in stages between 2012 and 2014.

Widening to six lanes throughout Northamptonshire

The Highways Agency has "long term plans" to widen the road throughout Northamptonshire to "help cut the number of accidents and cope with the likely growth in traffic"cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/4037663.stm|title=Traffic may force widening of A14|work=BBC News|date=2004-11-24|accessdate=2008-01-20] .

A14-M1-M6 interchange

The Highways Agency is planning a major upgrade (due for construction 2009–2012cite web|url=http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/11935.aspx|accessdate=2008-02-28|title=M1 Jct 19 Timetable] ) to the overloaded A14-M1-M6 interchange at the A14's western end.cite web|url=http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/5336.aspx |title= M1 J9 Improvements|accessmonthday= 27 July|accessyear= 2006] At this congested intersection two miles (3 km) of stationary traffic is the norm on the westbound carriageway, as it is for traffic leaving the M6 to join the A14. In March 2005 the contract for the planning, design, management and construction of the scheme through the Statutory Procedures from preparation of draft Orders to completion of construction was awarded to Skanska/Jacobs Babtie. Currently the Highways Agency is working with Skanska to prepare the plans for a Public Inquiry.

Notable Incidents

On the 26 July 2006 the A14 was closed for 24 hours near Newmarket when a van carrying acetylene gas canisters caught fire and the rescue services were advised by British Oxygen that they could remain unstable and needed 24 hours to cool. Bomb disposal officers were called in and the Red Cross set up a centre in Newmarket for those who who were strandedcite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/5216482.stm|title=Burning van causes A14 disruption|work=BBC News|date=2006-07-27|accessdate=2008-01-20] .


External links

* [http://www.gos.gov.uk/goeast/transport/regional_transport_strategy/multi_modal_studies GO East CHUMMS page containing links to the report documents]
* [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/documents/M060304_A14_Ellington_to_Fen_Ditton_compressed_3.pdf Public consultation on Huntingdon Bypass (March 2007)]


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