Suffolk: CBI chief John Cridland urges action on widening the A14
PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 October 2012 | UPDATED: 16:05 05 October 2012
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ONE of the UK’s most senior business figures has urged quicker action on improving the A14.
John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said the crucial route had been “crying out for improvement for years”.
His call to speed up widening of the road came after a stretch near the Orwell Bridge was closed for more than 30 hours over Wednesday and Thursday.
In July the Department of Transport announced £1.5billion of improvements to the A14 corridor between Cambridge and the A1 at Huntingdon - but work is not expected to start until at least 2018.
Mr Cridland CBE said: “The coalition has a credible growth strategy, but all too often its commendable ideas at the top, simply aren’t getting translated into quick enough action on the ground.
“The widening of the A14 is a case in point. This is a crucial arterial route linking one of our busiest ports at Felixstowe with the Midlands and the North, and has been crying out for improvement for years.
“The project has been announced by the Department for Transport, but work is not due to start until 2018, which is not good enough. If we’re serious about this we need to see action now.”
His views were echoed by Paul Dawson, managing director of Deben Transport.
He said: “Yesterday highlighted the importance of the widening of the A14 with one road out of the busiest container port in the country.
“We have more transport ministers than underpants - they begin understanding the transport needs and then they are moved on to something else.
“They talk the talk but produce nothing. It’s not just the Tories, it’s the last Government too.
“The widening of the A14 - I don’t think it will happen before 2020.
“We have got one access across the River Orwell and they have been talking about a second one for years.”