Summit to look at widening of A14

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Widening the A14 past Kettering will be discussed as part of a major summit this month to tackle congestion on the road.

The 127-mile route which runs from the Catthorpe Interchange to Felixstowe will be the subject of the discussion between Whitehall transport bosses and business leaders.

The meeting has been organised by the county council and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership in a bid to ensure funding for the road brings growth to the local and national economy.

As part of his autumn pre-budget statement, the Chanellor announced £260m would be spent on road improvements, including work to widen the A14 Kettering bypass from Junctions 7 to 9.

Leader of the county council Cllr Jim Harker said: “The A14 is one of the most vital east-west routes in the UK and not only of national importance but of international significance.

“Estimates suggest that congestion on the A14 costs the Northamptonshire economy scores of millions of pounds each year and regionally this figure would be significantly higher.

“This summit will provide us with a cohesive plan from which to move forward and give clarity when presenting our case nationally and in a European forum to gain the funding to bring about the improvements necessary.”

Manager of Wellingborough-based Gibson’s Haulage Paul Gillett said: “The road needs improvements – it’s a long time coming and to be honest, they should have been carried out a long time ago.”

The meeting will take place on February 28 in Kettering.