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Roads minister gets first-hand look at region’s troublespots

16:08 30 October 2014

Roads minister John Hayes with Ipswich MP in Valley Road.

Roads minister John Hayes with Ipswich MP in Valley Road.

Archant

Roads’ minister John Hayes got to grips with some of the county’s most serious transport problems during a day-long visit to Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

He was driven along the A14 from the Girton interchange to Ipswich where he was shown the proposed route of a new river crossing and heard traffic concerns about traffic likely to be generated by the northern fringe development.

After his visit to Ipswich he travelled to the Port of Felixstowe – he is also minister for shipping – where he saw the port in action and visited the new vessel Ever Lambent.

During his visit to Ipswich, Mr Hayes was shown the traffic problems in Valley Road by local MP Ben Gummer.

The minister insisted that the borough council should not approve development of the northern fringe until it was satisfied that roads would be able to cope with new traffic.

After discussing the issue with Rod Brooks from the Nothern Fringe Protection Group, Mr Hayes said it seemed clear that Westerfield Road was a country road that would not be able to cope with the number of vehicles from the massive new housing estate.

However he was not in a position to offer funding for a new northern by-pass or any other major road to the development.

He did say he felt it was important to get out of the office and see issues facing people on the ground.

He said: “I’ve been looking at the A14 today and seeing how the pinch-point scheme is working near Cambridge, but I know what motorists want to know is when things will happen on the stretch beyond there.

“This government has taken up the case and is pressing ahead with the major investment there – it’s been needed for years but we are going ahead with doing the work.”

And he insisted that work on the road was vital for the Port of Felixstowe: “As the minister responsible for our strategic roads, shipping and ports I am determined that we do all we can to improve the links between ports and our towns and cities to boost growth.

“Britain has long been a nautical powerhouse, with the maritime sector generating well over £8 billion for the economy every year.

“Our ports have weathered the economic storm of recent years better than many parts of the economy and I fully appreciate the importance of Felixstowe in delivering long term growth.

“With the busiest port in the UK at one end, improving the A14 is part of this government’s long term economic plan and is a priority infrastructure project.”

He added: “Britain has a great seafaring past, but it also has a great seafaring future ahead of it and we are determined to do all we can to encourage the development of that work over the next few years.”

6 comments

  • Like the Americans arriving in 1942 - this is the first time that our local hauliers and Port of Felixstowe has woken up to the prospect that they need to fight their corner if they are to secure a slice of the infrastructure budget for Ipswich & Felixstowe. The question is: where is the "Norwich to Cambridge club", I mean the Anglia LEP ? Based on the A11, south of Norwich, with 14 board members and 1 managing director with 12 of the team located nearer - or having backgrounds and interest - in NorwichNorfolk Cambridge. The Norwich to Cambridge Club (Anglia LEP) is group is extremely successful in winning money for the Norwich to Cambridge "science" link, but no where to be seen supporting Ipswich and Felixstowe. Wake up and smell the coffee!

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Friday, October 31, 2014

  • Simple solution three schems needed. 1. Northern Ipswich Bypass, 20 miles of duel carriageway. 2. Duel the A120 from A12 to Braintree and remove the 2 roundabouts at Braintree so traffic going west from ColchesterFelixstoweHarwichIpswich use that route down the M11 to the M25. Taking half the traffic off the lower part of the A12. 3. Resurfacing of the A12 and new white lines and cats eyes on the whole road, plus removing any short or ill designed junctions. That is more important than dueling the A47 and thats for definate.

    Report this comment

    The Ginge

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • Because the General Election is getting near now, "we had better show our faces in ipswich" !, i.e. 'On a Jolly' out of the office for a day !, "What did we achieve" ?, absolutely nothing, because we haven't got any money !, start Taxing the Rich, then you will have more than you need !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • So he comes to Suffolk but is not shown the horrific route - the A12 - you have to take from Ipswich to Lowestoft, the same route that all the traffic is going to use when building Sizewell C! Why was he not shown the a12 through Farnham? Why was he not asked how on earth the tiny leiston roads are meant to cope with the huge influx of traffic that Sizewell C will cause? Probably because he was rubbing noses with his politician friends and the little people don't matter

    Report this comment

    jip-travloter

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • The minister does not seem to have a grasp of the situation. SCC rather than IBC have responsibility for the roads so he seems to be saying that IBC (labour) shouldn't do anything until SCC (Tory) and our local MPs have sorted out the roads, which they won't do as they oppose development of the only land that IBC can develop. Looks like a window dressing visit that is likely to shoot little Ben in the foot.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • So, notwithstanding the comment, "However he was not in a position to offer funding for a new northern by-pass or any other major road to the development." that bypass is still the one thing we desperately need so hopefully our MP was pushing him hard for that? Valley Road, Colchester Road, and plenty of others are heading for disaster if the North Fringe goes ahead without a proper relief road. No amount of traffic lights, speed cameras or other restrictions can be a suitable substitute for more road!

    Report this comment

    mmm

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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