27 June 2013

Northamptonshire County Council has welcomed the government announcement of £1.5billion improvements to the A14 from 2016 and is now awaiting further details.

What's happened so far?

As part of its spending review the government said the initiative would be part of a wider package of capital projects which will help stimulate economic growth nationally.

The county council has spearheaded a campaign lobbying for extra investment into the A14 corridor as it is one of the UK’s key east-west trade routes and of international importance.

The council also hosted a major conference on the issue in February last year where delegates from the UK and Europe agreed that significant improvements were required.

Improvements to the A14 are also seen as one of the key areas of developing Northamptonshire’s economy with its prominent role in the logistics sector.

Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of the county council, said: “This is excellent news for Northamptonshire, the wider region and for the UK as a whole.

“We’re still awaiting exact details of what the proposal include - the A14 is such a strategically important route but capacity desperately needs to be developed so that it is up to standard.

“The road links the Midlands with the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk, which handles 40 per cent of the UK's container traffic.

“Such capital investment is coming along at precisely the right time for Northamptonshire as we continue to develop our logistics sector and, of course, such big projects create tremendous demand in the economy.”

Part of the 10-Point-Plan

The development of the logistics and distribution sector was one of the components of the county council’s recently launched 10-point plan for growth. This element focused on the ‘Golden Triangle’ formed by the M1, M6 and A14.

With Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, Cambridgeshire County Council and other local enterprise partnerships the council has been working with the logistics sector, Freight Transport Association and the Port of Felixstowe to form a strategic alliance to support innovation and growth in the logistics sector and reduce congestion on the A14.

Delays on the A14 cost industry many millions of pounds each year – and inevitably these costs are eventually passed on to consumers.