Highways England has announced the opening of Britain’s £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon road-building project for traffic.

The upgraded road, which opened eight months ahead of schedule, was originally planned to open to traffic by December this year.

Set to strengthen links between the Midlands and the East of England, the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon scheme will transform journeys on the A14 in Cambridgeshire.

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “This upgrade is a key addition to our national infrastructure, better linking the North of England and the Midlands to the East of England and to the Haven ports. It also brings economic benefits to the wider region and local towns and communities.

“Being able to open it more than six months early and on budget shows what the UK construction industry can achieve with an integrated client team, common goals and targets, and a shared vision of success.”

Highways England confirmed that as part of the upgrade work, the national 70mph speed limit has been restored. Other works related to the road verges, including the completion of landscaping and cycle, horse riding and pedestrian paths, will continue.

Furthermore, work to transform the old A14, including taking down the 45-year-old Huntingdon viaduct, is also continuing as planned, with completion expected by 2022.

Following the opening of the Huntingdon southern bypass, work to dismantle the 16,400t A14 Huntingdon Railway Viaduct has started.

In November 2016, work started on the project, which includes an upgrade to the A14 between Swavesey and Milton, and the A1307 road.

Once the project concludes, Cambridgeshire County Council will take over the A1307 east of Huntingdon and along the Alconbury spur, and part of the A141 west of Huntingdon.