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16 October 2013, 06:15
Plans for tackling congestion on the A14 could leave the Government in breach of legal limits for air pollution, according to the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT).
The CBT has examined the Government's £1.5 billion A14 corridor, including the stretch through Cambridgeshire.
Now it is warning that the scheme would not only significantly worsen air pollution across a wide area, it could actually push a number of places above current EU legal limits.
The Government's proposal to tackle congestion within the A14 corridor includes widening parts of the A14 and the A1 and building a new dual carriageway around Huntingdon.
The public consultation on the project has just closed and an announcement on the preferred route is due later this year.
Sian Berry, the CBT's roads and sustainable transport campaigner, said: ``The Government's plans for the A14 will seriously worsen air pollution for people living along the route and risks breaching legal limits, while only providing a temporary improvement in congestion.
``It would be far more cost effective and sensible to look at ways of reducing traffic levels to help solve congestion more permanently and sustainably without breaking the law and damaging public health.''
Areas identified by the CBT of specific concern include Brampton in Cambridgeshire and the area between Bar Hill and Girton near Cambridge city.
The CBT pointed out that Brampton is currently surrounded by eight lanes of traffic on the A1 and A14, which could double under the Government's proposal. It added that the area between Bar Hill and Girton could see between eight and 10 new lanes of traffic added in addition to the current six.