The A14 is a trunk road stretching almost 130 miles from Rugby in the West Midlands to Felixstowe on the Suffolk coast. The A14 in its current form is made up of parts from previous dual carriageways and is pulled together by new stretches of road. The road includes sections of the former A45, the A604 between Cambridge and Kettering and a small length of the former A6 west of Kettering.
Before this formation in 1992, the A14 was a back road. It ran from the A10 at Royston to the A1 at Alconbury, through Papworth Everard and Godmanchester.
Felixstowe has the largest container port in the whole of the UK, making the A14 an economically important road linking this port and also East Anglia to the rest of the country.
Prior to the construction of the A14 as it stands, the main route from Birmingham to the Port of Felixstowe followed many different roads. Vehicles needing to reach the Haven ports of Felixstowe, Ipswich, Harwich International, Harwich Navyard and Mistley were required to follow a route including the M6, M1, the A428 and A45.
Passing through the four counties of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, the A14 provides access to locations such as Kettering, Huntingdon, Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.
Due to the cobbled together nature of the dual carriageway and the fact is has such an important role to play, a number of improvement works are carried out on the road regularly.
It’s important to be mindful of these improvement works and check for any A14 traffic updates before you travel along the route.
Worst Junctions on the A14
If you’re planning to travel on this long stretch of dual carriageway, look up the latest A14 traffic updates to help you avoid congestion, roadworks and accidents. The A14 is a direct route into the busiest port in the UK and offers and important east/west connection, meaning you are likely to encounter traffic build-up at junctions with many backed up container lorries. The following junctions are common hotspots:
The Spittals Interchange is where the A14 meets the A1 allowing access between the A1 to the north and the A14 to the east. One of the main problems with this junction is that, at peak hours, queues form along the A14, effectively reducing it to a single lane. Coming westbound, watch out for the signs informing motorists to turn off to stay on the same road. Missing this signage could leave you northbound on the A1.
This is also junction 14 of the M11. Here it meets the A14, offering a route between the M1, M6 and the Port of Felixstowe. The A1307 (the main road north out of Cambridge) joins as well, along with the A428 west to the A1 and Bedford. So there’s a lot going on at this interchange. While the M11 ends neatly, the A14 becomes confused. Motorists have to get on the A1307 - westbound traffic uses a one-lane slip road to arrive on the carriageway half a mile later. As with the Spittals Interchange you will need to have your wits about you to stay on course with this junction.
There are often improvement works being carried out which impact junction 29 at Bar Hill. Expect traffic build-up and queues at this junction.
The Orwell Bridge in Ipswich often has to close in high winds causing heavy queuing. The bridge sits between junction 56 at Wherstead and junction 57 at Nacton. If you are having to take this route while using the A14, check for closures before you travel.
Accident Hotspots on the A14
As the A14 is the main dual carriageway leading to the Port of Felixstowe, there is a high volume of traffic all the way along the route each and every day. Always check for A14 traffic news before you travel.
Junction 28 Bucking Way Road which is also the location of the Cambridge Services is a common hotspot for accidents. This junction experiences a heavy flow of traffic every day due to being so close to the city and motorists visiting the services.
The Orwell Bridge and surrounding area has been known to experience a high number of crashes ranging from less serious to more severe incidents. The bridge is the southern route out of Ipswich, meaning high volumes of traffic travel along this route.
Upcoming A14 Major Roadworks
This dual carriageway network spans almost 130 miles, so as you may expect the A14 is regularly undergoing roadworks and improvements. By using the RAC Route Planner service you can identify and account for potential delays in your journey with travel news from the A14.
Upcoming major roadworks on the A14 include:
A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon
This is a £1.5bn upgrade and improvement project on the stretch of road from Cambridge to Huntingdon. This includes a new bypass to the south of Huntingdon and upgrades to 21 miles of the road including widening of the road between Brampton and Alconbury.
Work on this project started in November 2016 and are expected to finish by the end of 2020. Different parts of the work require speed restrictions and closures so always check to see the latest travel information before you go.