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UK road A14.svg
A14 road
Length (miles) 127
Length (km) 204
Direction East / West
Start Catthorpe
Primary destinations* Rugby
Bury St Edmunds
End Felixstowe
Roads joined
* Primary destinations as specified by the Department for Transport.

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

Prior to the completion of the M6 motorway in 1971 and the opening of the A1-M1 Link road in 1994 traffic would have used the A45 road. Until 1994 the A14 designation was used for a section of the Ermine Street between the A10 at Royston on the A10 and the A1 at Alconbury, most of which is now the A1198 road.



Traffic congestion on the A14 near Needham Market.

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

The entire road is a dual carriageway except for a dual three-lane section on the Newmarket bypass (between Junctions 36 and 38) where this road runs concurrent with the A11 and a short stretch between the Girton Interchange and Bar Hill is also dual three-lane. 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 along the road: 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).



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. The remainder 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 to the A1(M) at Alconbury has many inconsistent designations. The scheme page on the Highways Agency website for work carried out in 1996-1998 refers to it as the A14(M)[1] however the map page linked from that page refers to the same section of road as the A604(M).[2] The statutory instrument for the construction of the road in 1993 refers to it as the A604(M).[3] The A14(M)/A604(M) designation is not used on the ground; when heading from the A14 spur onto the A1(M) heading north there a 'motorway' sign just past the B1043 exit without any number of on (see photo in the top right of this page)[4] however when heading south along the A1 it is signed as 'A14'.[5] Online mapping is also inconsistent - the Highway Agency mapping (which uses Navteq data) refers to it as the 'A14(M)',[6] Bing maps (which also uses Navteq mapping) shows it as motorway without any designation[7] 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.[8]

East of the Girton Interchange with the M11 at Cambridge, the A14 used to be known as 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 known as the A14 until the late 1980s is now the A1198 between Royston, Hertfordshire and Godmanchester but, confusingly, retains its A14 designation north of Godmanchester until it meets the A1 road near Alconbury; thus forming a 'spur' off the main A14.


Prior to the construction of the current A14 road the main route from the Birmingham to the The Haven ports followed the old A45 road route via Coventry, Rugby, Northampton, St Neots, Cambridge and then through all the towns on the current route A14 from there to Felixstowe.

The M45 motorway was constructed in 1959 parallel to part of the old A45 route in the Midlands and 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 a route from junction 2 of the M6 via the A427 road to Market Harborough followed by a short section of the A6 road to Kettering and then the A604 to Cambridge before joining the old A45 to the ports as above.[9] 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.[10] The Bar Hill to Huntington section opened in 1979 prior to the M11 which was fully opened in 1980.[11] The Ipswich southern bypass including the Orwell Bridge opened in 1982.[12]

The 'M1-A1 Link Road' which was to complete 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 help regarding Suplimentary orders. The route of the road close to the site of the Battle of Naseby was particularly difficult and was taken to the High Court.[13]

The final section of the modern A14 (the A1-M1 link) was opened by John MacGregor, Transport Secretary on 15 July 1994.[14]

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 competed in 2006.[15]

Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes traveling east were banned from using the outside lane on a 2-mile (3.2 km) steep climb to Welford summit on a dual 2-lane section 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 6pm and are intended to reduce delayed to other traffic from lorries attempt to pass on these climbs.[16]

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[17], to rationalise access using a new grade-separated junction.[18] The road opened in the summer of 2008[18] with some associated local works being completed early in 2009[19].

Current developments

Automatic Queue Warning and Signing system

Variable Message Signs (VMS), traffic queue detection loops and closed circuit TV (CCTV) are being installed on the A14. Work started on 13 July 2009 and is being carried out in three phases[20] at a cost of 58m euro:-[21]

  • M1 junction - A14 J14 (east of Thrapston) - Estimated completion 'early 2010'
  • A14 J36 (Junction with A11) and A14 J45 (east of Bury)- Estimated completion 'early 2010'
  • A14 J52 (Claydon) and J14 J62 (Port of Felixstowe) - Estimated completion 'Autumn 2010'

Refurbishment (J52-J55) Claydon to Copdock

Work to refurbish both carriageways between Junction 52 (Claydon) and Junction 55 (Copdock) started in January 2010 and is expected to be completed by 'early summer' 2010 at a cost of £9million. Work is being carried out a year earlier than scheduled as part of a UK government’s fiscal stimulus package.[22]

Proposed developments

A14–M1–M6 interchange

The Highways Agency is planning a major upgrade to the overloaded junction with the M1 motorway and M6 motorway at the A14's western end, by providing a direct link road between the M6 and the A14 at which there is frequently 2 miles (3.2 km) of stationary traffic on the westbound carriageway of the A14.[23]

A14 Kettering Bypass Widening (J7-9)

Developing proposals to widen the section from junction 7 to 9 to three lanes in both directions[24] and an estimated completion in 2013 and a cost of £82m to £136m.[25]

A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton

A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton
Proposed A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton development.png
A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton
Location Cambridgeshire
Proposer Highways Agency
cost estimate £1.3b
completion date 2016

In March 2005 the Highways Agency unveiled its plans to upgrade the A14 between Ellington and Fen Ditton[26]. Details of the preferred route for the Fen Drayton to Fen Ditton section were published in March 2007 which would broadly follow the current route[27] and for the Ellington to Fen Drayton section in October 2007 which would take a new route further south to the Brampton Interchange before tracking the A1 north to Ellington[27]. As well as the construction of a new road between Ellington and Fen Drayton, the new route would involve the demolition of the Huntingdon viaduct and construction of a new junction with Brampton Road for local Huntingdon traffic.

The contract for the scheme was awarded to Costain Skanska Joint Venture on 28 January 2008[27] who will now work on detailed plans and the Highways Agency will then publish 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 will then made a decision based on the advice of the public inquiry inspector.[27] 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.[28] In October 2009 the cost estimate had risen to £1.3b with work starting in 2012 and being completed in winter 2015/2016.[29]

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 of the scheme as well as its negative impact on non-car travel in the area.[30]

Copdock interchange (J55)

new traffic generators in the vicinity of the Copdock roundabout

Junction 55 (the Copdock interchange) is a busy grade-separated roundabout junction with the A12 to the south of Ipswich and traffic is expected to increase. Changes to add capacity at this junctions have been approved which include full signalisation of the roundabout, extending the off-slip to the A14 from the A1214 and moving Ipswich bound traffic into the outside lane on the A12 approach.[31]

Traffic on this function is expected to increase further due to a number of nearby developments.

  • The Port of Felixstowe, which already handles 375,000 TEUs (20-foot containers) is being expanded with the Felixstowe South development, phase 1 of which is due to open in 2010 and phase 2 in 2013. These changes are expected to increase traffic on the A14 and the Copdock Interchange is being upgraded as part of this project.[32] The original planning approval for this expansion was conditional on construction work not starting until all the associated rail upgrades had been completed, however due to delays in completing the rail upgrade and to what the Port calls "changing market conditions and the threat of expanding competing ports", Suffolk Coastal District Council have allowed work to start prior to the rail improvements being ready.[33]
  • The Swiss College which will cater for 2,000 pupils from the September 2010, which will also add to congestion at this junction.[34]
  • SnOasis (a major winter sports complex) which is expected to have 825,000 visitors each year when it opens in 2013, many of whom are expected to arrive by car[35]
  • The proposed Bathside Bay container terminal at Harwich International Port is also expected to increase traffic at the Copdock roundabout and the A14.[32]

The local Liberal Democrat councilor believes that these changes will not be effective and will further tailbacks on the A12 approaching Ipswich and additional rat-running through local villages.[31] The planned changes to the interchange were delayed in August 2009.[31]

Other corridor developments

The following developments will have an impact on traffic levels on the A14 corridor.

Cambridgeshire Guided Busways (guided busway parallel to A14)

Cambridgeshire Guided Busway

The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway is a 40-kilometre long bus network to connect the population centres of Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives, the northern section of which will run parallel to the A14 road. The scheme is predicted to cause a direct reduction in traffic on the busy parallel A14 road of 5.6% (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 actual net reduction on the A14 is predicted to be 2.3%. The scheme "will be complementary to the planned road improvements on the A14".[36]

East West Rail Link

East West Rail Link

The East West Rail Link is a proposed new rail route to provide a fast outer orbital railway to the north of London linking Great Western Main Line, Oxford, Bicester, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich for both passenger traffic and freight[37] which would relieve some pressure on the A14.

Felixstowe and Nuneaton freight capacity scheme (rail)

Felixstowe Nuneaton freight scheme

The Felixstowe and Nuneaton freight capacity scheme is designed to take more lorry traffic off the A14 between the Port and the Midlands by increasing capacity and allowing the carriage of larger 'Hi-cube' shipping containers by widening to the W10 loading gauge .[38]

Longer term plans

The highway Agency has plans to increasing capacity from Junctions 3 to 10 near Kettering 'in the longer term'[24] and also to widen the road throughout Northamptonshire to "help cut the number of accidents and cope with the likely growth in traffic"[39].

Coach services

The A14 is currently used by only one coach service, the National Express Coach route 350 (Clacton to Liverpool) between Copdock (J53) and Huntingdon (J26); National Express 305 (Liverpool to Southend-on-sea) and 314 (Southport to Cambridge) services follows the old A45 route 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 1 person, with many others injured. The road was closed and there were huge tailbacks.[40]

Newmarket Gas Van

On the 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[41].

Two Cambridge scientists die In A14 carnage

On the 27 March 2008 at 5.40pm, two people were killed on the westbound carriageway of the A14 between Girton and Histon. The accident involved two cars and two lorries - both car drivers died. The westbound section from Histon to Girton was closed until the following day. The victims were named as Dr Michael John Corkill, 53, of Walnut Tree Close, Bassingbourn; and Dr Jelena Obradovic, 38, of Stonefields, Bar Hill.[42]


A14 Road
Eastbound exits Junction Westbound exits
Start of road Terminus Birmingham, Sheffield M1 M6
A5199 Husbands Bosworth, Spratton 1 A5199 Husbands Bosworth, Spratton
A508 Market Harborough, Northampton 2 A508 Market Harborough, Northampton
A6 Leicester, Rothwell 5 A6 Leicester, Rothwell
No exit 6 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) Stevenage, Peterborough A1
Brampton 22 Brampton
A14(M) Motorway
A141, A14(M) 23 (Spittals) A141, A14(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
A14 Road
London, Cambridge M11, A1307 31 (Girton) London, Bedford M11, A428
B1049 32 (Histon) B1049
A10, A1309 33 (Milton) A10, A1309
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[43] 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[44] 62 (Walton Avenue) Start of road

External links


  1. ^ "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"" 
  2. ^ "A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough". Highways Agency. 
  3. ^ [ "Statutory Instrument 1993 No. 2940 The A604(M) Motorway (Alconbury to A1(M) Section) And Connecting Roads Scheme 1993"]. 
  4. ^ "A14(M)". 
  5. ^ "A14(M)". 
  6. ^ "Map". Highways Agency. 
  7. ^ "Alconbury, Cambridgeshire". 
  8. ^ "Alconbury".,-4.064941&sspn=13.857722,35.463867&ie=UTF8&ll=52.373791,-0.243587&spn=0.01289,0.033431&z=15. 
  9. ^ The Hamlin Road Atlas of Great Britain - 1976
  10. ^ "A14. M1 to Felixstowe - Statistics and options". .
  11. ^ "M11 London-Cambridge Motorway". Motorway Archive. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  12. ^ "Appendix". Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  13. ^ "A14/M1 to Felixstowe". Motorway Archive. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  14. ^ "The A14 M1-A1 link will be opened on Friday 15 July by John MacGregor, Secretary of State for Transport and..". Local Government Chronical. 
  15. ^ "Cavities could be problem at A14 Rookery crossroads, Rougham". Bury Free Press. 
  16. ^ Highways Agency. "A14 Journey Time Trial". 
  17. ^ "Haughley Bends transformation under way". 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  18. ^ a b "Highways Agency". Stowmarket to Haughley New Street improvement works. Retrieved 18 June 2007. 
  19. ^ "Minister praises A14 safety bid". Evening Star. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  20. ^ "A14 Corridor Traffic Management Scheme". Highways Agency. 
  21. ^ "A14 Corridor Traffic Management Scheme - 2009-UK-13027-E -Part of Priority Project 13". Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  22. ^ "Work starts early on £9m safety improvement scheme on A14 near Ipswich". Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  23. ^ "M1 Jct 19". Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  24. ^ a b "14 Kettering Bypass Widening". Highways Agency. 
  25. ^ "Congestion-busting plans to widen the A14 in Northants go on show". Highways Agency. 
  26. ^ "A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton Consultation". BBC Cambridgeshire. 2006-06-06. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  27. ^ a b c d Highways Agency. "A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton". 
  28. ^ "Updated scheme cost estimates". Department for Transport. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  29. ^ "Anger as A14 revamp faces new delay". 
  30. ^ "Newsletter 103, October 2009". Cambridgeshire Campaign for Better Transport. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  31. ^ a b c "Delays to Copdock Mill roundabout “improvements” welcomed". 
  32. ^ a b "The effect of the proposed development on safety and the free flow of traffic and its consistency with national transport planning policies". 
  33. ^ "Port of Felixstowe Upgrades South Rail Terminal". Felixstowe TV. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  34. ^ "South West Ipswich and South Suffolk (SWISS) Partnership". 
  35. ^ "Snoasis approved". BBC News. 2006-04-01. 
  36. ^ Dr Chris Gossop (2006-02-07). Cambridgeshire Guided Busway: Inspectors Report. Department for Transport. pp. 29. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  37. ^ "Front Page". East West Rail Consortium. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  38. ^ "Felixstowe - Nuneaton". 
  39. ^ "Traffic may force widening of A14". BBC News. 2004-11-24. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Burning van causes A14 disruption". BBC News. 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  42. ^
  43. ^ Highways Agency (2007-03-16). "East of England roadworks update: Monday 19 March to Sunday 25 March 2007". Press release. Retrieved 2007-03-16. 
  44. ^ "Google Maps".,1.3576&ie=UTF8&ll=51.956379,1.325569&spn=0.014281,0.032916&z=15. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 

Coordinates: 52°16′01″N 0°33′05″E / 52.26687°N 0.55133°E / 52.26687; 0.55133


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