Toll roads mooted for A14

Tolls could be used to resurrect a stalled road improvement scheme considered crucial to three proposed developments in Cambridgeshire, the Treasury says.

The A14 links Felixstowe docks to the Midlands and suffers severe congestion. But the Treasury last year scrapped the proposed widening between Ellington and Fen Ditton - where the road lies near to major housing developments in Northstowe, Waterbeach and Alconbury - as "simply unaffordable under any reasonable future funding scenario".

However, this week's Autumn Statement says the government "will explore innovative ways of financing this work, including tolls".

A Department for Transport spokesman said options including shadow tolls - where a contractor is paid according to the number of passing vehicles - and physical booths would be considered.

Matthew Lugg, president of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transportation, said: "The A14 is a massive bottleneck."

Work on 10,000 proposed homes at Northstowe stalled when the recession began.

Paul Kitson, area manager for housing and regeneration quango the Homes & Communities Agency, which promotes Northstowe with partner Gallagher Estates, said: "We remain confident that Northstowe can be delivered."

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