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A14 toll road plans revealed

Date: 19 September 2013

The Government has revealed plans to improve the A14, including a new Huntingdon by-pass that would be a toll road, widening both the A14 and A1, and other improvements to the local roads in a £1.5bn scheme set to start in late 2016 and be completed by 2020.

Reports last week suggested a £1.50 fee for using the 12-mile Huntingdon by-pass would raise 20% of the cost of the work, and the public consultation that is being held until 13 October is examining ways in which that could function.

"We need a long-term resolution that will tackle the congestion and journey-time reliability issues," said roads minister Stephen Hammond. "It will provide better journeys for long-distance and local traffic, putting the right vehicles on the right roads."

But RAC technical director David Bizley was against the toll plans.

"Piecemeal actions such as this are an unwelcome move and not necessarily a solution to the problem of serious congestion," he said.

"The decision to create a toll on the A14 may well be particularly unpalatable for motorists and businesses due to the absence of an alternative route, such as exists with the M6."

The Freight Transport Association responded to the toll proposal with an eight-point Road Toll Charter, including availability of a non-tolled alternative, transparency of charging costs, reduction in fuel duty, lower rates for low-emission vehicles, and minimum service levels for management of the toll road.