�70m scheme to improve signs on A14

A �70million project to improve signage on the A14 is set to start this summer following an injection of cash from the European Union.

Graham Dines

A �70million project to improve signage on the A14 is set to start this summer following an injection of cash from the European Union.

Two sections of the road in Suffolk and one towards the junction with the M1 in Leicestershire will receive automatic queue warning and signing systems, with variable message signs and traffic queue detection loops, which will also be installed on parts of the A11, A12, and A45 where they join the A14.

More closed circuit television cameras will also be installed in strategic locations on the route, which links Felixstowe with the M1 and the M6. Main aim of the scheme is to reduce congestion, especially at peak times.

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Work starts this summer and is expected to be completed by early next year between the M1 and junction 14 of the A14 near Thrapston in Cambridgeshire, including the entire section in Northamptonshire.

Starting this autumn until early 2010, the electronic improvements will be installed between Thurston near Bury St Edmunds until the junction with the A11 to the west of Newmarket.

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The final section to receive the upgrade runs from north of Ipswich to the Felixstowe docks spur. Work starts in the winter with completion expected in the summer of 2010.

The work will be undertaken at night to improve safety for the workforce. Speed limits of 50mph will be in force, along with some carriageway closures and temporary diversion routes for vehicles.

The improvements are being financed in part by the European Union under the European Economic Recovery Plan, which has granted the Highways Agency 11.67million euros.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said the schemes were “expected to generate significant reductions in accidents and delays and, as an alternative to road widening, will help minimise the adverse effect of road traffic on the environment”.

The DoT also announced it was in the final stages of studying Suffolk county council's bid for �24million of improvements to Ipswich town centre to improve public transport, cycling and walking.

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