A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme

Enquiry received via post

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme

25 June 2014
Peter and Pauline Lee


A14 Consultation ? Spring 2014
We are writing to object to the proposed routing and also to express our concerns over the impact the new A 14 route would have on Hilton. In our view the consultation process can only be described as lip service. The booklet produced this spring to accompany the recent exhibitions did reveal a number of interesting matters.
There was no mention of Hilton or the impact of the road on our village, whether noise or air or flood risk nor does it consider the impact of traffic that will use our village as a rat run as a result of the proposed road layout.
The representatives at the exhibitions, Jacobs, did admit that "Hilton is one of the big losers" and stated that "there was no realistic chance of the route being changed at this late stage". The consultation will not give any serious consideration to the points raised by our community.
The proposed A 14 will be much nearer to Hilton than the existing one. We believe it could have been designed to be further to the North without affecting adversely other communities. We have been made to understand that the proposed bunds will be principally for visual effect. We need proper noise barriers, as used extensively in Europe. We also need the data in order to reach proper conclusions and we are told that such data is not yet available. We do not understand how the proposed route can be so advanced without these data being available.
In addition, under the current proposals, we will lose our westbound access to the existing A 14 at the 81040. There seems no persuasive reason as to why this should be the case, a situation that will only add to the traffic flow through the village.
Hilton is a small village which already suffers intolerable levels of heavy goods traffic. When so much is up in the air it is puzzling why this project is being pushed forward, before noise and pollution surveys and flood risk assessments have been completed. It seems that all the decisions have already been taken and we can only assume all the surveys will be made to fit the plan.
What is clear, however, is that Hilton has been sacrificed for the benefit of other parts of the constituency. We believe that there are several practical measures that could be taken, at relatively modest cost, to ameliorate the damage which will otherwise be done to our beautiful village and weurge you to implement them, in the event that the design of the scheme is not reconsidered.
We ask the Highways Agency to explain clearly, its decision to route the road so close to Hilton when it is open to them to move it further north and also for them to reconsider Option 6. We also ask the Highways Agency to complete their various surveys and assessments and consult again - in an honest and transparent way this time. And finally urge/insist that a permanent 24 hour HGV ban throughout Hilton is established prior to the commencement of any construction.

Advice given

Thank you for your letter addressed to Sir Michael Pitt regarding the proposed Cambridge to Huntingdon A14 improvement scheme. It has been passed to me, as the case manager, to respond.
This proposal is currently at the pre-application stage. As you are aware, the Highways Agency is currently consulting with local communities and prescribed consultees on their proposal in accordance with the duties which the Planning Act 2008 (as amended) places upon them. I am unsure as to whether you have responded directly to the Highways Agency with your comments, as the Highways Agency will be under a duty to take account of relevant responses. The closing date for this consultation period was 15 June 2014. It is at the developer?s discretion whether to accept any representations after that date.
As your letter raises concerns with the consultation being carried out you may also wish to send a copy of your correspondence to the relevant local authority for this area. When the application is submitted to The Planning Inspectorate, local authority consultees will be invited to provide their comments on the adequacy of the developer?s consultation detailing whether the developer complied with their consultation duties in accordance with the Planning Act 2008. Following the submission of the application, a decision will be made within 28 days as to whether the application can be accepted for examination. In deciding whether or not to accept an application the Planning Inspectorate must, amongst other matters, have regard to any adequacy of consultation representation received by it from a local authority consultee.
If the developer is deemed to have adequately carried out their pre-application duties and the application is accepted for examination, there will be the opportunity to register your views with The Planning Inspectorate and participate in the examination by completing a relevant representation form. Details about how and when to register will be publicised by the developer. Please note that you are unable to register as an interested party during the current (pre-application) stage of the process for this proposal.
Further information about how to participate in the application process can be found in our advice notes. I have enclosed two advice notes which may be of particular interest.
If you have any further queries, please don?t hesitate to contact us.