The A14 corridor in Cambridgeshire could be the latest highway in the UK to become tolled under a new initiative by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Officials outlined a series of plans that would see an investment programme sped up by being added to the DfT's list of major projects. However, construction would still not be able to start until 2018 at the earliest and even then it would depend on the result of the consultation at a Spending Review as well as approval from local authorities.
Plans for the A14 are designed to help to reduce the amount of congestion seen on the stretch of highway on a regular basis and increase the capacity, which has been a long-term goal for the motorway.
Funding for the work on the road would be recouped through tolling and officials are deliberating which part of the highway could be used as a station. Other factors include how long the stretch should be as well as which tariff would be suitable to ensure that motorists use it. It would be the second toll road in the UK following the introduction of payment for using the M6 in the Midlands. The A14 development would also include a 20-mile section of new or widened road.
Justine Greening, transport secretary, said: "The A14 is a crucial strategic route for the east of England, vital not only for international road traffic using the port of Felixstowe but everyone who relies on it daily.
"I am pleased to be able to unveil what we believe to be the best option for people living locally as well as those who see it as a lifeline to international markets."
As part of the A14 package there will be widening programme at the Cambridge Northern Bypass between Milton and Girton which will help to improve links around the Girton Interchange. Officials also earmarked the construction of a bypass at the south of Huntingdon near Trinity and the A1, which meet the A14 at both ends.
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