Britain’s biggest road upgrade on the A14 is officially underway after it received support from across Cambridgeshire.

It was officially announced by the UK’s Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, after he visited the major improvement scheme on the A14 in Cambridgeshire to formally initiate the main construction works.

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “The A14 is one of the most important east to west road links in the country, connecting businesses, communities and families.

"The upgrade of the A14 between Girton and Huntingdon is critical to the continued success of our local economy."

"These vital improvements have been highly anticipated, and it is great to be able to start main construction today.

“We have worked very hard to get the project to this stage and I would like to thank all our local partners who have supported us and worked with us to get this far.

“I want the A14 to redefine what a road scheme can achieve and, in addition to a significantly upgraded road, I am determined that our work here will leave behind a positive legacy for people living along the A14, providing better, safer journeys, setting hundreds of young people off on fulfilling careers in construction, and boosting the capacity of the whole country to deliver world leading infrastructure improvements."

The £1.5bn project works includes upgradation 21 miles of the A14 to three lanes in each direction adding additional capacity, boosting the local and national economy and cutting up to 20 minutes off journeys.

Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP chief executive Neil Darwin said: “The upgrade of the A14 between Girton and Huntingdon is critical to the continued success of our local economy, and will have a far wider positive economic impact across the East and beyond.

“It was our number one priority as a LEP when we were formed, and we are delighted to see work getting underway in earnest on the upgrade.

“As the single largest local contributor to the scheme, investing £50 million towards the upgrade, we are delivering on our commitment to business to tackle this significant barrier to growth.

“We have also laid the groundwork to ensure local people can gain the skills they need to access the jobs that will be created by this development by investing in a new Highways Academy at WATA.

"We look forward to the completion of this project in a timely manner."

The construction works include a new bypass for Huntingdon, widening the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury, widening the existing A14 between Swavesey and Milton and improving the junctions at Bar Hill, Swavesey, Girton, Histon and Milton.

The new bypass and widened A14 is expected to be opened for traffic by the end of 2020.