With work well and truly underway on the £1.5 billion investment into upgrading the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon, commercial property interests are looking beyond traffic disruption to focus on the future benefits.
A14 Upgrade: Eyes on the prize
The construction firms and contractors charged with the task of upgrading the stretch of the A14 road between Huntingdon and Cambridge certainly mean business. Even for those of us who travel daily up and down this route, the vista from the road can change overnight.
The pace of change to the landscape since the invasion of the hi-viz jackets, hard hats and diggers on the ground started in earnest late last autumn is staggering – particularly at key junctions and interchanges. And with overnight closures and weekend and holiday working, there is no plan to take the foot of the pedal on this project which is the largest being undertaken by the Highways Agency anywhere in the country at the moment.
There is a lot invested in bringing a significant part of this project in by its deadline of the end 2020 when the Huntingdon south bypass is set to be open for traffic in tandem with the widened road and adjacent local roads on the southern section to Cambridge. Additional work to remove the Huntingdon viaduct will spill over in to the following year.
However, it’s not only central government who are investing a lot in the £1.5 billion A14 upgrade and the scheme’s associated improvements to the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury. Neither is it just residents, business and commercial locations already in-situ en route who will ride out the temporary traffic disruption and delays in order to be better served by their ‘local’ roads.
The prospect of a beefed-up road benefiting travel times and transport communication links east to west and onward links north to south and vice versa is not going unnoticed by those enquiring of commercial property agents like us who serve the Huntingdon and Cambridge corridor directly, with attendant interest registering through our Peterborough and Bury St Edmunds offices too.
Now that new A14 construction works and compounds are very apparent – travelling on the existing tarmac and progress can be measured almost day by day – enquiring parties outside the immediate area are referencing the future benefits and business boost of being located on premises along the route.
Commercial property agents in Peterborough, Huntingdon and beyond who are deeply rooted in this vital A14 corridor acknowledge that, from a property point of view, this part of the country has prospered in spite of the A14, not because of it during the past 20 years.
Further economic benefits and increased prosperity that the £1.5 billion A14 upgrade will bring to this part of the country are difficult to quantify from this vantage point. But there will certainly be qualitative improvement to travel links in the region and beyond.
As us locals navigate our way through the speed restrictions, lane changes and the interim junction layouts, let’s look to the future beyond 2020. We could well be cruising alongside driverless lorries in our driverless cars happily sharing the road and getting to our destinations on time, every time.
A small price to pay some might say because there are those enquiring now about office, industrial and retail & leisure premises and property prospects who are willing to pay a higher price for such a business boost to improved travel times and a smooth ride to better business on and via the new A14.
For enquries or further information from Barker Storey Matthews about commercial property and premises along the Cambridge to Huntingdon corridor, contact Richard Adam in Huntingdon 01480 451578 or Ben Green in Cambridge 01223 467155.