Enquiry received via email

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme

04 March 2015
K L Anderson


Mr Anderson wrote to the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 29 January 2015 about the application for a Development Control Order for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme.
'Part of the plans feature a 10 lane stretch of industrial highway within 800m of the village of Brampton and its primary school. The traffic using the existing A14 probably carries the highest density of heavy diesel lorries in the country due to its primary function of conveying freight from Felixstowe to the M1.
There have been plenty of warnings concerning the effect on the health of populations living close to diesel emitting vehicles. Indeed the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has reports concerning the 29,000 premature deaths that occur in the UK as a result of diesel traffic. The Highways Agency (HA) seem to be totally unaffected by these warnings. Perhaps not surprising given their poor track record in planning other road projects in this area in recent years whereby they have totally misjudged projected traffic flows. Conservative estimates quote traffic flows for the new highway at 150,000 vehicles per day.
I recently attended a public meeting specifically concerned with the proposal to construct 10 lanes of heavy industrial traffic next to the village and the school and I pointed out the environmental issues highlighted by Joan Walley's committee. The school is currently undergoing substantial redevelopment to increase its size; it will virtually become a new school located within 800m of this planning disaster of a 10 lane highway. Some families predominately with young families are even closer to the planned highway.
The existing air pollution monitoring devices are located in the wrong position in relation to the proposed 10 lane route. The traffic flow measuring is apparently carried out by monitoring emissions from mobile phones carried in passing vehicles; this does not identify the exceptionally high percentage of heavy diesel vehicles - a large percentage of which are foreign. When questioned about the work of the EAC, the HA seemed to have little knowledge - just a wry smirk on their faces. The local government position is that the adverse impact on Brampton is a price worth paying for the 'bigger picture' whereby other communities will benefit...it is totally unacceptable that the health and wellbeing of the Brampton community should be put at risk...
Mr Anderson asks for the Secretary of State for Local Communities and Government to intervene in the planning of this 'potential environmental disaster'.

Advice given

The application about which you raise concerns was submitted by the Highways Agency to the Planning Inspectorate on 31 December 2014. The application is for a development control order for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme under the Planning Act 2008, as amended by the Localism Act 2011, and it was accepted for examination on 27 January 2015.
An examining inspector or a panel of inspectors from the Planning Inspectorate will be appointed to oversee the examination of this application. The inspector or the panel will be known as the ?examining authority? during the examination. When the examination has closed, the examining authority will prepare a report on the scheme with a recommendation for the Secretary of State for Transport who will make the final decision on whether the order should be approved.
If you wish to have your views taken into account by the examining authority with respect to the proposed scheme, you should register to become an interested party during the examination. More information on how to register to become an interested party can be found at the following link:
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The registration of interested parties for the examination began on 2 February and will close on 12 March 2015.
An advice note on how to register and become an interested party can also be found at: attachment 2

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