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The new £1.5 billion improvements to the A14 is set to revolutionise Cambridgeshire’s traffic flow and congestion issues. Here at Barker Storey Matthews, we make sure to follow all of the local trends and improvements that could impact our sector, especially the largest projects that are guaranteed to have a huge effect on what we do. 

Huntingdon Map

In case you’re unaware, the A14 is one of the major arteries running through Cambridgeshire and is regularly used to access all of the region’s major cities and locations. Currently, the road has been struggling to cope with the traffic demand, further accentuated by accidents leading to increased congestion. In response, the government proposed an improvement plan that would see multiple sections of the road widened and over 30 new pedestrian and cyclist crossings to create a more cohesive traffic management system. 

Together these amendments are expected to cut travel times by up to 20 minutes and the project is currently on track for completion by the end of 2020.  The question is, how will this improve the economy of the area, and are any new opportunities going to arise as a result of the changes?

This is what we aim to answer through this brief guide.

Property Sector Opportunities

As we are a property company, it’s obvious that this would be our first consideration. The new changes to the A14 will create a significantly more reliable travel route to the major regional hubs of Cambridge, Peterborough and Huntingdon and with this newfound ease of access, individuals are much more likely to see commuting via the road as an easy option. 

With this in mind, property around the new A14 is bound to open up into an incredible opportunity for the discerning investor. From a property development perspective, the area is going to see increased interest from young buyers, making development in and around the A14 a much safer option than it ever was before. In addition, from a property investor’s perspective, the new properties already being constructed in the area next to the A14 and just outside of Cambridge are bound to increase in value, as the demand for new homes in the area increases (the reason for which will be discussed in the next section). With these two points in mind, a well-placed investment in property around the A14 could be a brilliant decision. 

Note that it is impossible to fully know the extent of the road’s effect on the property sector until years after it has been fully opened; so, as with all pre-emptive investment choices, it could still pose a risk.

Labour Market Opportunities

Moving onto the second major economic boost - the labour market is expected to see a huge shift as a result of the new A14 improvements. By making access to the major regional cities (particularly Cambridge) easier, individuals are given a much easier commute to work. This is essential because when deciding where to work, employees heavily consider commuting time and quality of life; therefore, if they are presented with a cheaper and quicker commute via the A14, they are more likely to choose a workplace in the area. 

With increased workers in the area, desire for homes in the region are expected to increase (though house prices will have to remain affordable in order for continued economic growth). In turn, with more homes and more people in the area, the number of consumers and the number of jobs will also skyrocket – allowing for increased business growth.

Business Growth Opportunities

With a greater number of homes in the region and a greater number of labourers too, businesses will have ample opportunity to grow faster and more easily. There will be more consumers in the region with more disposable income due to the cheaper house prices when compared to the centre of Cambridge and in turn, there will be more staff for the rapidly expanding businesses who are benefitting from the situation. 

Furthermore, with increased business growth comes a greater demand for more suitable commercial spaces. Here at Barker Storey Matthews, we specialise in every aspect of locating and acquiring commercial property. With over 25 years of experience in the area and multiple well-situated offices, we strive to create the ultimate service that focuses on you and your requirements. 

If you’re interested in acquiring some property for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch and tell us about your goals or requirements – we’re guaranteed to have some advice that will help you.