Spending Review: End to £1.4bn plans to upgrade A14

The government believes upgrading the A11 will boost business and promised not to 'walk away' from the A14

A major road improvement scheme in the east of England has been ditched under the government's Spending Review.

The Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond has confirmed the £1.4bn upgrade to the A14 will not go ahead.

The road, the main east to west cross-country route, connects the M6 and Northamptonshire and Leicestershire to Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

The shelved proposal had involved widening the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

The chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, John Bridge said: "The Department for Transport has clearly put a price on economic success and growth for our region and has already decided it's not willing to pay it, despite the Eastern region making the third highest return to the Exchequer in the country.

"How is it that the government has allowed a scheme, previously approved and deemed affordable, to have been so ineptly managed by the Highways Agency that businesses and individuals across our region are now going to be subjected to the delays and misery that this route inflicts for the next 20 years?"

However Mr Hammond said the government would "not walk away" from the project and would try to find alternative funding.

The Transport Secretary said: "We do recognise there is a real problem on the A14 corridor particularly relating to trade so we will review how we approach this corridor.

"It maybe that rail has a role to play. It may be that private capital, perhaps with tolled sections of road could have a role to play so we're going to re-open that equation.

"But unfortunately we can't proceed with a billion pound publicly funded dual carriageway scheme."

The previous government announced the plans at the beginning of 2009.

These included improvements to the key M1 junction 19 interchange with the M6 and A14 on the border of Northamptonshire and Leicestershire.

It had also wanted to introduce what it called "traffic management technology improvements" over the length of the A14 from Felixstowe in Suffolk to the M1 in the East Midlands.

This would have included more cameras which measure the average speed of cars.

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