News story

Study shows A1 improvements could create safer, quicker and more reliable journeys

Study stating case to upgrade key parts of the A1 in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire released.

Picture of A1 road at night

A new study setting out the case to upgrade key parts of the A1 in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire was published by the Department for Transport today, 18 August 2016.

The A1 east of England strategic study is one of 6 reports commissioned by the department in autumn 2015 to address some of the biggest challenges facing the road network. Today’s report shows the need for improvements to be made to parts of the 62-mile section between London and Peterborough.

The study also showed improving the road could cut congestion and help reduce the environmental impact of the existing layout, especially for those who live metres away from the A1.

Transport Minister John Hayes said:

I want people across the east of England to benefit from quicker, more reliable journeys.

Our cities and towns are the lifeblood of our economy and they, as well as our rural communities, need strong connections to thrive.

We are already spending £15 billion on the biggest upgrade to the road network for generations.

This next phase is aimed at creating more vital links, creating jobs and opportunities and helping hardworking families across the country feel the benefits of our investment.

The improved network could also lead to benefits for neighbouring communities, including providing safer links for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

The study is part of the government’s next phase of road improvements, which will get underway from 2020. The current Road Investment Strategy period covers 2015 to 2020.

A number of options to improve the A1 will now be developed. They include a new motorway section between Baldock and Huntingdon, improving junctions and upgrading the east to west connectivity around the route.

Two further reports – the Trans-Pennine tunnel and the Cambridge to Oxford expressway – are also published today. Studies into the M25 south west quadrant, the Manchester north west quadrant and the Northern Trans-Pennine are also underway.

Final reports of all 6 will be completed in the next 6 months and will inform the development of the government’s second Road Investment Strategy.

Roads media enquiries

Published 18 August 2016