A14 Response to local resident re overnight diversion traffic

A14 SignA local resident has written to the A14/Highways England Team about the constant stream of traffic including HGVs through the village during the overnight closures.  I have been asked to post this here for your information:

From: A14 Cambridge Huntingdon <A14CambridgeHuntingdon@highwaysengland.co.uk>
Date: 17 January 2019 at 14:46:31 GMT
Subject: Highways England response – Your enquiry about the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon scheme – ref 17011801

Thank you for your email of 16 January expressing your concerns about noise coming from heavy traffic, in relation to the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme.

I’m sorry to hear that heavy traffic has been coming through your village, especially if you’re not able to sleep.

I’d like to reassure you that we don’t divert traffic through Swavesey. When we do have a diversion route in place, we signpost road users to follow the A1198 and A428. Our diversions are clearly signposted to actively encourage drivers to follow the temporary route.

Our official diversion routes are agreed with the local authority in advance of works taking place and have to use Highways England or County highway routes of a similar classification, to ensure they can take the capacity and types of vehicles that would usually travel along those routes.

Unfortunately we’ve found that on the nights of our closures, some drivers, including lorry drivers, simply ignore our advanced warning signs advising of the road ahead being closed and continue to drive until the closure. Instead of following the official diversion route, they sometimes attempt to utilise local roads through villages such as yours to avoid returning back to the diversion route.

Please be assured that we do appreciate you’d prefer traffic not to travel through your village unnecessarily. However, I’m afraid we can’t prevent people who know alternative and potentially shorter routes from using them, as we can’t legally stop through traffic on a public highway or any other road to which the public has a right to access.

I’d like to reassure you that our traffic management team has reviewed our closure signage and has taken steps to make them clearer for road users to follow our diversion route. This includes adding additional signage encourage people to use the signed diversion route, including signs to turn off satnavs and follow the diversion routes.

In addition to this, we continue to work closely with the local Highways Authority and the police to address any negative impacts whilst the diversions are in place. Monthly meetings take place with these parties which enable us to discuss feedback from residents and where possible how we can try to address concerns raised. We have also had meetings with a number of Parish Councils from across the project on the matter.

On a daily basis we seek to strike the right balance between progressing the works in a timely manner, enabling businesses, residents and visitors to go about their business on a day to day basis and working with the road network that we have at our disposal.

I hope you can see from the work we’re doing above, we do work in partnership to try and minimise as much as possible and we’re always happy to take on board views of local businesses and the local community to try and improve the situation where possible. Therefore, I have passed your feedback on our traffic management team for them to review.

I hope this reassures you. Thank you for taking the time to contact us. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0300 123 5000 or email A14CambridgeHuntingdon@highwaysengland.co.uk.

Kind regards

Highways England | Woodlands | Manton Lane | Bedford | MK41 7LW
Web: http://www.highways.gov.uk



—–Original Message—–

Sent: 16 January 2019 18:50
To: A14 Cambridge Huntingdon <A14CambridgeHuntingdon@highwaysengland.co.uk>
Subject: 12th and 13th January night closures

On the nights of 12th and 13th January 2019 Swavesey residents had to endure two more nights of no sleep due to lorries and heavy traffic using our village due to local road closures on the A14. Why is this still happening after all this time? As an organisation you seem to be able to build some outstanding bridges and seem to be on target and on budget with progress on the new road. You are able to notify our Parish Council when closures are likely to happen – why is it so difficult to implement adequate diversions and allocate Highways Agency officers to enforce those diversions? Local residents seem not to be complaining now as they are worn down and given up on trying!! This is a totally unacceptable way for us to be treated.

It would seem that we are in for similar closures this coming weekend. PLEASE, PLEASE make sure you allow Swavesey residents to rest and sleep this weekend.

I haven’t wanted to bother Heidi Allen this week as she has much more important issues in Parliament. If we are disrupted again this weekend I will contact her, and sadly this will be for a third time.