Costing an estimated £1.5bn and due to be completed by the end of 2020, the upgraded 21 miles of dual carriageway will shave an average 20 minutes off journey time. Positive impacts from the development also boasts aiding national economic growth, better connections between communities and improvements to the local economy. Over half of the planned redevelopment, a 12-mile stretch south of Huntingdon, will open 12 months ahead of schedule with traffic using the new layout as early as December 9th 2019.
With Tachograph compliance making each minute spent on the road essential, a reduction in journey time can only be received as a benefit. Especially as the direct bypass will provide a clear route into and out of the West Midlands to East Anglia and congestion caused by vehicle breakdowns, road closures and accidents will have considerably less impact on traffic flow and journey time.
Around 22,100 HGV's, 26% of national HGV traffic, travel daily through the strategic link between the A1 and M11 alongside commuters and long-distance traffic - Hence why improving this transport corridor, significant to both national and international freight, is vital to the infrastructure of logistics.
Highways England have ensured throughout the process of upgrading the 21-mile stretch of roadway that the environmental impact has been as minimal as possible. Habitats and wildlife along the route are either being enhanced or protected. Approximately 900,000 trees and shrubs are being planted and over 20 acres of habitat are being built to preserve British wildlife species. Naturally, UK pallet networks yield a shorter time of transit for palletised goods through their nature of operation, saving not only on the cost of delivery but also on the cost to the environment. With environmental and bio-diverse sustainability in mind, it is interesting to note 100% of the power needed to supply the 3 construction sites is generated either through renewable solar or wind sources. The hybrid generators alone, which power over-night construction floodlighting, have reduced co2 emissions equivalent to a car driving 110 times around the Earth.
It will be interesting to see how this is reflected in the way freight vehicles using this route will be powered come the scheduled 2020 completion either through the full hybridisation of logistic fleets or embracing electric power. Naturally, UK pallet networks yield a shorter time of transit for palletised goods through their nature of operation, saving not only on the cost of delivery but also on the cost to the environment.
Data sourced from Highways England website as of November 2019