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A14 road (England)

A14 road shield

A14 road
Route information
Part of E30 E24
Length: 127 mi (204 km)
Major junctions
From: M1 Junction 19 & M6 at Catthorpe
  M1 motorway Junction 19
M6 motorway
M11 motorway Junction 14
A14(M) motorway
A1 A1 road
A6 A6 road
A10 A10 road
A11 A11 road
A12 A12 road
A43 A43 road
A45 A45 road
A134 A134 road
A140 A140 road
A142 A142 road
A143 A143 road
A508 A508 road
A509 A509 road
A605 A605 road
To: Felixstowe
Bury St Edmunds
Road network

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


  • Route 1
  • History 2
  • Proposed developments 3
    • A14 Kettering Bypass Widening (J7-9) 3.1
    • A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton 3.2
    • A14–M1–M6 'Catthorpe' Interchange 3.3
    • Longer term plans 3.4
  • Coach services 4
  • Notable incidents 5
    • Lolworth Petrol Station 5.1
    • Newmarket gas van 5.2
  • Diagram 6
  • A14 spur designation, including 'A1(M)', 'A14(M)', 'A604(M)' 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


From the Port of Felixstowe the road heads west, bypassing Ipswich to the south via the Orwell Bridge and to Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge where it meets the M11. There is a very busy section past St Ives, Huntingdon and the junction with the A1, from there through Kettering, Northamptonshire, ending at the M1.

The road is a dual carriageway, most with two lanes each way, but there are two dual three-lane sections: on the Newmarket bypass (between Junctions 36 and 38) where it runs concurrent with the A11, and a short stretch between the Girton Interchange and Bar Hill. The road is heavily used by trucks carrying freight from the Port of Felixstowe (Britain's busiest container port) and the Midlands, North West and Ireland.

There are three at-grade junctions: with the B663 at Bythorn in Cambridgeshire (junction 15); at the Leighton Bromswold turn a few miles to the east (junction 17); and at the Dockspur Roundabout at the edge of Felixstowe (junction 60).


Prior to the current A14, the main route from Birmingham to the Haven ports followed the old A45 road via Coventry, Rugby, Northampton, St Neots, Cambridge and then through all the towns on the A14, from there to Ipswich where it ended on the A12.[1] Prior to its use for the current route the A14 designation had been used for a section of road between the A10 at Royston and the A1 at Alconbury following part of the route of Ermine Street which now, in most parts, is designated the A1198.

The M45 motorway was constructed in 1959 parallel to part of the old A45 in the Midlands. It opened on the same day as the M1 motorway and was soon one of the busiest sections of motorway. The M6 opened in the late 1960s and early 1970s, after which more traffic to the ports used the route from junction 1 of the M6 via the A427 to Market Harborough followed by a short section of the A6 to Kettering and then the A604 to Cambridge before joining the old A45 to the ports as above.[2] The M45 now carries little traffic.

The sections from Huntingdon east to the ports were upgraded first, starting with the Huntingdon bypass in 1973, followed by the Girton to Bar Hill section in 1975/76 and the Cambridge northern bypass and Cambridge/Newmarket section in 1976/77.[3] The Bar Hill to Huntington section opened in 1979 prior to the M11 which was fully opened in 1980.[4] The Ipswich southern bypass including the Orwell Bridge opened in 1982.[5]

Traffic congestion on the A14 near Needham Market.

The 'M1-A1 Link Road', completing the current route, was constructed between 1989 and 1991 following a lengthy period of consultation. The first inquiry was in 1974 and then a series of inquiries for sections of the preferred route from September 1984 until June 1985, during which objections came from some 1,130 sources. Subsequent public inquiries were held regarding Supplementary Orders. The route close to the site of the Battle of Naseby was particularly difficult and was taken to the High Court.[6]

The link was opened by John MacGregor, Transport Secretary on 15 July 1994.[7]

Work to create a compact grade-separated junction (Junction 45/Rougham) and to re-align a 2-mile (3.2 km) stretch of carriageway was completed in 2006.[8]

Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes traveling east were banned from using the outside lane on a dual 2-lane section on a 2-mile (3.2 km) steep climb to Welford summit close to Junction 1 (A5199) from spring 2007; a similar scheme covered 2 miles (3.2 km) of the westbound carriageway from Junction 2, including a particularly steep climb to Naseby summit. The bans are active between 6am and 8pm and are intended to reduce delays to other traffic from lorries attempting to pass on these climbs.[9]

Between 2007 and 2008 a new section of two-lane dual carriageway was constructed at the Haughley Bends, one of Suffolk's most notorious accident blackspots,[10] to rationalise access using a new grade-separated junction.[11] The road opened in the summer of 2008[11] with some associated local works being completed early in 2009.[12]

Variable Message Signs (VMS), traffic queue detection loops and closed circuit TV (CCTV) were installed at a cost of 58m euros during 2009 to 2010[13][14][15] Both carriageways between Junction 52 (Claydon) and Junction 55 (Copdock) were refurbished during 2010 at a cost of £9 million. Work was being carried out a year earlier than scheduled as part of a UK government’s fiscal stimulus package.[16]

The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway connecting Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives, which opened in 2011 was intended to remove 5.6% of traffic using that section of the A14 (rising to 11.1% with the new Park & Ride sites), although as other traffic re-routes to the freed-up road space from other parts of the local road network, the net reduction is predicted to be 2.3%.[17]

The Felixstowe and Nuneaton freight capacity scheme, designed to take more lorry traffic off the A14 between the Port and the Midlands by increasing rail capacity and allowing the carriage of larger 'Hi-cube' shipping containers by widening to the W10 loading gauge, opened in 2011.[18]

Junction 55 (the Copdock interchange) to the south of Ipswich at the junction with the A12 was upgraded with full signalisation and higher capacity during 2011. The off-slip to the A14 from the A1214 was extended, moving Ipswich bound traffic into the outside lane on the A12 approach.[19][20]

Proposed developments

A14 Kettering Bypass Widening (J7-9)

Developing proposals to widen from junction 7 to 9 to three lanes in both directions[21] is scheduled to start in late 2013 with an estimated completion in 2015 and a cost of £37 to £50m.[22]

A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton

A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton
A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton
Location Cambridgeshire
Proposer Highways Agency
Cost estimate £1.5b
Start date 2018

The scheme includes widening from Fen Ditton to Fen Drayton broadly on the existing alignment and then on a new route from Fen Drayton to the south of the current road to the Brampton Interchange before tracking the A1 north to Ellington. The project includes the demolition of the Huntingdon viaduct and construction of a new junction with Brampton Road for Huntingdon traffic.[23]

The Highways Agency unveiled its plans in March 2005.[24] Details of the preferred route for the Fen Drayton to Fen Ditton section were published in March 2007

The contract was awarded to Costain Skanska Joint Venture on 28 January 2008,[23] which worked on detailed plans and the Highways Agency before publishing 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 would then made a decision based on the advice of the public inquiry inspector.[23] The scheme is expected to open in stages between 2015 and 2016.

The Highways Agency has estimated that the Ellington-Fen Ditton widening would cost between £690 million and £1.2 billion, making it the most expensive scheme in their roads programme.[25] In October 2009 the cost estimate had risen to £1.3b with work starting in 2012 and being completed in winter 2015/2016.[26]

The Campaign for Better Transport is opposed to the plans, listing their reasons for objection as the carbon emissions the road would induce, the cost, and its negative impact on non-car travel.[27]

The coalition government suspended the scheme when it came into power, with Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Transport, suggesting that the scheme would be 'axed' on Monday, and that the only way it would get built was as a toll road.[28] That government money would not pay for the scheme was confirmed at the end of October, when Roads Minister Mike Penning said that the scheme was unaffordable and no longer offered acceptable value for money.[29] In response to this news local MPs have said they will involve the private sector in some form to aid with development.

In 2011 the government announced an 'A14 Challenge' inviting people to present proposals for the route.[30] In November 2012 it was reported that the scheme may be back on a fast track to implementation.[31] and was mentioned in the June 2013 spending review.[32]

A14–M1–M6 'Catthorpe' Interchange

Plans for a major upgrade to the overloaded junction with the M1 motorway and M6 motorway at the A14's western end were shelved in late 2010 following a comprehensive spending review,[33] and then reactivated in 2013. Work began on 6 January 2014 and the scheme is expected to open for traffic in Autumn 2016.[34]

Longer term plans

The Highways Agency has plans to increasing capacity from Junctions 3 to 10 near Kettering 'in the longer term'[21] and also to widen the road throughout Northamptonshire to "help cut the number of accidents and cope with the likely growth in traffic".[35]

Coach services

The A14 is currently used by only one coach service, National Express route 350 (Clacton to Liverpool) between Copdock (J53) and Huntingdon (J26); National Express 305 (Liverpool to Southend-on-sea) and 314 (Southport to Cambridge) follow the old A45 between Cambridge and Birmingham.

Notable incidents

Lolworth Petrol Station

On 17 November 1998 a lorry collided with the petrol station between Bar Hill and Lolworth. The incident happened shortly after 11am and killed one person, with many others injured. The road was closed and there were huge tailbacks.[36]

Newmarket gas van

On 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 were stranded.[37]


A14 Road
Eastbound exits Junction Westbound exits
Start of road Terminus Birmingham, London, Sheffield M1 M6
A5199 Husbands Bosworth, Spratton 1 A5199 Husbands Bosworth, Spratton
A508 Market Harborough, Northampton 2 A508 Market Harborough, Northampton
A6 Leicester, Rothwell 3 A6 Leicester, Rothwell
No exit 4 B669
A43 Stamford, Corby 7 A43 Stamford, Corby
A43 Kettering, Broughton 8 A43 Kettering, Broughton
A509 Kettering, Wellingborough 9 A509 Kettering Retail Park, Wellingborough
A6, A6003 Barton Seagrave, Rushden 10 A6, A6003
A510 11 A510
A6116 12 A6116
A45, A605 13 A45, A605
Titchmarsh 14 Titchmarsh
B663 15 B663
Kimbolton B660 16 Kimbolton B660
Leighton Bromswold 17 Leighton Bromswold
Spaldwick, Barham 18 Spaldwick, Barham
Easton 19 Easton
Woolley 19a Woolley
Ellington 20 Ellington
Stevenage, Peterborough A1 21 (Brampton Hut interchange) Stevenage, Peterborough A1
Brampton 22 Brampton
A141, A1(M) 23 (Spittals) A141, A1(M)
Alconbury, Little Stukeley B1043 23a Alconbury, RAF Alconbury B1043
Huntingdon, Godmanchester A1198 24 Huntingdon, Godmanchester A1198
Hemingford Abbots 25 Hemingford Abbots
St Ives A1096, B1040 26 St Ives A1096, B1040
Fenstanton, Fen Drayton 27 Fenstanton, Fen Drayton
Swavesey, Boxworth 28 Swavesey, Boxworth
No exit 28a Lolworth
Bar Hill B1050 29 Bar Hill B1050
Oakington, Dry Drayton 30 Oakington, Dry Drayton
London, Cambridge M11, A1307 31 (Girton) London, Bedford M11, A428
B1049 32 (Histon) (Cambridge) B1049
A10, A1309 33 (Milton) A10, A1309, Cambridge Science Park
B1047 34 (Fen Ditton) No Exit
Cambridge, Newmarket, Burwell A1303, B1102 35 (Quy) Cambridge, Burwell A1303, B1102
No exit 36 (Nine Mile Hill) London A11
Newmarket, Ely A142 37 Newmarket, Ely A142
Norwich, Mildenhall A11 38 No Exit
No Exit 39 Kentford for Newmarket
Higham 40 Higham
Saxham Business Park, Risby 41 Saxham Business Park, Risby
Bury St Edmunds (West) A1302, B1106 42 Bury St Edmunds (West) A1302, B1106
Diss A143, A134 43 (St. Saviours) Diss A143, A134
Bury St Edmunds (East) A143 44 (Moreton Hall) Bury St Edmunds (East) A143
Rougham / Rougham Industrial Estate 45 Rougham / Rougham Industrial Estate
Thurston, Beyton, Tostock 46 Thurston, Beyton, Tostock
Elmswell, Woolpit A1088 47 Elmswell, Woolpit A1088
Wetherden 47a No Exit
Harleston, Haughley, Stowmarket A1308 48 (Haughley) Harleston, Haughley, Stowmarket A1308
Stowmarket A1120 50 Stowmarket A1120
A140, Needham Market B1078 51 (Beacon Hill) A140, Needham Market B1078
Claydon B1113 52 Claydon B1113
Ipswich (North) A1156 53 (White House) Ipswich (North) A1156
Sproughton 54 (Sproughton) Sproughton
London, Ipswich A12, A1214 55 (A12 J33 – Copdock) London, Ipswich A12, A1214
A137 56 (Wherstead) A137
Orwell Bridge
A1189 57 (Nacton) A1189
Lowestoft A12, A1156 58 (Seven Hills) Lowestoft A12, A1156
C375 Croft Lane[38] Un-numbered No Exit
Trimley St. Martin, Trimley St. Mary 59 Trimley St. Martin, Trimley St. Mary
Felixstowe A154 60 (Dockspur Roundabout) Felixstowe A154
Felixstowe Dock Gate 2 61 (Trinity Avenue) No Exit
Felixstowe Dock Gate 1 A45[39] 62 (Walton Avenue) Start of road

A14 spur designation, including 'A1(M)', 'A14(M)', 'A604(M)'

From the A12 west of Ipswich to the M1/M6 junction, the A14 is part of (but not signed as) the E-road E 24. From Ipswich to Felixstowe is part of E 30.

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. The road is concurrent with the A12 road from the Seven Hills Interchange to the Copdock Interchange which forms the Ipswich Southern bypass and with the A11 road between junctions 36 and 38.

The final 1.2 mile section of the A14 'spur' from the junction with the B1043 near Huntingdon to the A1(M) at Alconbury has many inconsistent designations. It is the only section of the original A14 (A1198 road) that still bears that A14 designation; it was renumbered A604 for a period prior to the construction of the current A14. The scheme page on the Highways Agency website for the 'A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough' scheme carried out in 1996–1998 refers to it as the A14(M),[40] but the map page linked from that page marks it as the A604(M).[41] The statutory instrument for the construction of the road in 1993 also refers to it as the A604(M).[42] Neither the A14(M) nor the A604(M) designation is used on the ground; heading onto the A1(M) heading north there a bare 'motorway' sign just past the B1043 exit without any number (see photo in the top right of this page).[43] However, when heading south along the A1 it is signed as 'A14'.[44] Online mapping is also inconsistent – the Highway Agency mapping (which uses Navteq data) refers to it as the 'A14(M)',[45] Bing maps (which also uses Navteq mapping) shows it as motorway without any designation[46] and Yahoo maps (which uses Navteq data) shows it as motorway and as the A1(M). Google maps (which uses TeleAtlas data) shows it as a trunk road called A14.[47]

East of the Girton Interchange with the M11 at Cambridge, the A14 used to be 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 road which was the A14 until the late 1980s is now the A1198 between Royston, Hertfordshire and Godmanchester. North of Godmanchester the route of the original A14 became part of the A604, itself now part of the new A14 until it meets the A1 road near Alconbury, thus forming a 'spur' off the A14.


  1. ^ "Half inch Ministry of Transport Road Map".  
  2. ^ The Hamlin Road Atlas of Great Britain – 1976
  3. ^ "A14. M1 to Felixstowe – Statistics and options". 
  4. ^ "M11 London-Cambridge Motorway". Motorway Archive. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  5. ^ "Appendix". Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "A14/M1 to Felixstowe". Motorway Archive. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  7. ^ "The A14 M1-A1 link will be opened on Friday 15 July by John MacGregor, Secretary of State for Transport and..". Local Government Chronicle. 
  8. ^ "Cavities could be problem at A14 Rookery crossroads, Rougham". Bury Free Press. 
  9. ^ Highways Agency. "A14 Journey Time Trial" (PDF). 
  10. ^ "Haughley Bends transformation under way". 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  11. ^ a b "Highways Agency". Stowmarket to Haughley New Street improvement works. Retrieved 18 June 2007. 
  12. ^ "Minister praises A14 safety bid". Evening Star. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  13. ^ "A14 Corridor Traffic Management Scheme". Highways Agency. 
  14. ^ "A14 Corridor Traffic Management Scheme – 2009-UK-13027-E -Part of Priority Project 13" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  15. ^ "Overnight closures on A14 in Suffolk for new road signs". BBC News. 2010-09-20. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-13. Drivers have been warned about road closures on part of the A14 in Suffolk this week as work is carried out to install new electronic sign 
  16. ^ "Work starts early on £9m safety improvement scheme on A14 near Ipswich". Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  17. ^ Dr Chris Gossop (2006-02-07). Cambridgeshire Guided Busway: Inspectors Report. Department for Transport. p. 29. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  18. ^ "Felixstowe – Nuneaton". 
  19. ^ "Delays to Copdock Mill roundabout "improvements" welcomed". 
  20. ^ A14/A12 Copdock Roundabout, Ipswich, Highway Improvements - Highways Agency
  21. ^ a b "14 Kettering Bypass Widening". Highways Agency. 
  22. ^ "Congestion-busting plans to widen the A14 in Northants go on show". Highways Agency. 
  23. ^ a b c Highways Agency. "A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton". 
  24. ^ "A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton Consultation". BBC Cambridgeshire. 2006-06-06. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  25. ^ "Updated scheme cost estimates" (PDF). Department for Transport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  26. ^ "Anger as A14 revamp faces new delay". 
  27. ^ "Newsletter 103, October 2009". Cambridgeshire Campaign for Better Transport. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  28. ^ "Minister hints at ditching £1.2bn A14 upgrade". 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2010-10-13. “Take the A14,” he is quoted as saying, “I can’t find the money to improve that but, if the private sector wants to build a new road and toll it, [then great].” 
  29. ^ Local Transport Today, Issue 557, page 1
  30. ^ "Highways Agency announces stop-gap solution for A14". 
  31. ^ "Minister hints at A14 fast track". 
  32. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (23 June 2013). "George Osborne to offset further spending cuts with capital investment". The Guardian (London). 
  33. ^ "Catthorpe Interchange motorway access scheme is shelved". BBC News. 2010-06-18. Archived from the original on 6 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  34. ^ "M1 Junction 19 Improvement Scheme", Highways Agency, accessed 2014-01-01
  35. ^ "Traffic may force widening of A14".  
  36. ^ "Man killed in petrol station fire". BBC News. 1998-11-17. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  37. ^ "Burning van causes A14 disruption".  
  38. ^ "East of England roadworks update: Monday 19 March to Sunday 25 March 2007" (Press release). Highways Agency. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2007-03-16. 
  39. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  40. ^ "A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough". Highways Agency. the remainder constructed to dual 3 lane motorway, except for the short length of A14(M) which is dual 2 lane motorway 
  41. ^ "A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough". Highways Agency. 
  42. ^ "Statutory Instrument 1993 No. 2940: The A604(M) Motorway (Alconbury to A1(M) Section) And Connecting Roads Scheme 1993". 
  43. ^ "A14(M)". 
  44. ^ "A14(M)". 
  45. ^ "Map". Highways Agency. 
  46. ^ "Alconbury, Cambridgeshire". 
  47. ^ "Alconbury". 

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • GO East CHUMMS page containing links to the report documents
  • Public consultation on Huntingdon Bypass (March 2007)

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