December 8 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Fears have been voiced that an A14 toll could pose a serious threat to Britain’s biggest port – and councillors have pledged to fight the plan.
Senior Suffolk Coastal councillors have spoken out against the idea, which would see a toll of between £1 and £1.50 for cars and double that for lorries using a new stretch of the dual carriageway which would be built in Cambridgeshire.
Andy Smith, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for planning, said: “What was worse, and not as we hoped, was the lack of provision of realistic alternative routes, and in fact the intentional proposed destruction of the existing A14 as such by the demolition of a bridge near Huntingdon.
“These proposals of course represent a serious threat to the viability of the Port of Felixstowe, as it would become the only major container port in the country to have its core primary road access for HGV traffic subject to tolling.
“This adds to its unique position as the only port required to contribute also to its rail freight access, in contrast to new work and/or subsidies provided to Thames Gateway, Southampton and Liverpool.
“We shall be responding energetically to this, both directly to the consultation process, but also via political routes to the best of our ability.”
Fellow cabinet member Geoff Holdcroft said: “The consensus view at both Suffolk Coastal and elsewhere is that whilst a new road is welcomed its tolling is unfair.”
He added: “Tolling disadvantages Suffolk businesses, especially those related to the Port of Felixstowe, has an adverse impact on local roads and will have a detrimental impact on national economy as East of England is a net provider.”