Press release

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon nominated for top environmental award

The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme has today (15 January) been nominated for a top national environmental award.

image showing a smart motorway

The £1.5bn project is one of five finalists in the BBC Countryfile Magazines Awards 2018 in the Conservation Success of the Year category. The project will see 21 miles of A14 in Cambridgeshire upgraded to three lanes in each direction (four between Bar Hill and Girton) and is aiming to leave a positive footprint on the local environment when it is complete by the end of 2020.

Members of the public are able to vote for the project via the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards website from Friday 19 January in a poll that stays open until Monday 5 March.

Image of ecologist at work releasing one of the water voles into their new habitat
One of the ecologists at work releasing some of the water voles into their new habitat in August 2017

Carol Hardingham, environmental lead for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project for Highways England, says:

I am delighted that the environmental mitigation on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade has been selected as one of the five finalists for the BBC Countryfile Magazines Awards 2018 in the Conservation Success of the Year category.

Protecting the environment now and in the future is one of the golden threads that runs through all aspects of the scheme, from design to construction, project management to efficiency and delivering value for taxpayers’ money.

Our work sets the standard high in terms of reducing the overall impact of a road scheme on the local environment during construction and after the scheme completion.

We began thinking about the environment at a very early stage in the A14 project, and we will continue our work well after the construction of the road has been completed.

We are proud to be able to achieve this at the same time as building a road that will make it faster and safer for people to travel through South Cambridgeshire, leave a positive legacy for local communities and businesses and support the country’s economy.

The nomination was put forward by readers after an article about the industry-leading A14 environmental mitigation project was featured in BBC Wildlife Magazine’s January 2018 issue. A panel of five expert judges including nature journalists and authors selected the project among a long list of projects put forward for each category.

BBC Wildlife Magazine editor and awards judge Sheena Harvey says:

It’s a project that should lead the way in how to mitigate that damage done by infrastructure works – this is an example that needs to be out there for people to follow.

Since the A14 upgrade scheme was given the go ahead in May 2016, the A14 ecology team has been busy planning and creating new habitats and protecting wildlife during construction, as well as surveying the construction site for protected flora, gathering rare wildflower seeds and specimens to replant after the end of construction, and planning the tree replanting scheme once construction has been completed.

When the project is complete, 271 hectares of new, connected habitat for wildlife (equivalent to 269 rugby pitches) will have been created, and twice as many trees as were felled before the start of the scheme will have been replanted.

To find out more about the BBC Countryfile Magazine awards, the A14 project’s nomination and to vote, visit the Countryfile website. The winners will be announced in mid-March.

Work on building the £1.5bn upgrade to the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon started in November 2016. The project includes widening a total of seven miles of the A14 in each direction (across two sections), a major new bypass south of Huntingdon, widening a three-mile section of the A1 and demolition of a viaduct at Huntingdon, which will support improvements in the town.

For the latest information about the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, visit the scheme page,](http://www.highways.gov.uk/A14C2H) follow @A14C2H on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 16 January 2018