Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

West Suffolk: Business leaders voice serious concerns over impact of A14 toll road on area’s economy

08:39 19 September 2013

The A14.

The A14.

Archant

Business leaders believe a toll on the A14 would be a significant threat to the economy in west Suffolk.

shares

Their comments come as a petition is launched against the proposed charge on using the upgraded road between Cambridge and Huntington.

The £1.5billion upgrade would see a new stretch of A14 between Ellington and Swavesey and a wider A1 between Brampton and Alconbury.

Businessman Tim Meadows-Smith, who started the e-petition last week, said the economy of west Suffolk was quite significantly driven by its proximity to the Haven Gateway subregion, which includes the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich, Ipswich and Mistley.

He said: “The A14 is a very important piece of infrastructure for the whole county, and the west of the county in particular, and we are going to have to pay the price for an upgrade nobody else in the country needs to pay. It’s just unfair.”

On how serious the situation is for the west Suffolk economy, he said: “Let’s not get this out of proportion. It’s only a fraction of a percentage point on the total cost to the economy. But when added to all the other things business has to bear, it’s just another reason why you would consider being one side [of the toll] than the other.”

Colin Knight, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce, said: “Anybody that has anything delivered, even if you ordered something on Amazon, it’s going to come here via some sort of transport into Bury and everyone coming that way is going to suffer that particular charge.”

He added: “More costs will end up being passed onto the customer.”

While Mr Meadows-Smith and Mr Knight do not think a toll would force west Suffolk businesses to relocate, Mr Meadows-Smith said what it would do is make companies - particularly those which rely on distribution - think twice about moving to the area.

“It’s just relatively harder for the people in Suffolk - business community and people - to pave their way to thrive,” said Mr Meadows-Smith.

Mr Knight added: “I think if you have an alternative route that makes a toll road a bit more acceptable.”

To sign the petition visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54801

shares

0 comments

The A1092 through Clare was closed following the accident.

A cyclist who died following a road traffic collision in Clare on Sunday has been named as Sean Hickey from Connaught Road, Haverhill.

Mike and Natalie Gee are upset and worried at having to pay £13,000 for the council to make modifications to their home in Ipswich. Natalie has recently become paraplegic after a spinal injury and is in a wheelchair.

“I just want to be a mummy again” – that is the message from an Ipswich woman who was told she would never walk again by doctors.

Ipswich Town Hall.

District councils in Suffolk and north Essex spent more than £20million on redundancy packages over a five-year period, with some departing staff receiving six-figure payouts, an investigation has found.

County Hall, Chelmsford.

An Essex education chief has warned the government to “think carefully” about plans to force all schools to become academies – as figures revealed County Hall could lose more than £1billion in land assets if the proposals go ahead.

Pupils and students, outside Bealings Primary School, whowere due to strike today.

Schoolchildren across Suffolk are “on strike” in protest at controversial tests for six and seven-year-olds.

The new Ipswich police headquarters from insurance company offices in Civic Drive in July 1968

In the summer of 1968 the Ipswich Police Station moved from under the Town Hall to a new building at the junction of Civic Drive and Elm Street. 
Last June work started to demolish this landmark building and the site is now being converted to a temporary surface car park.

The Middy in the war years event at Mid Suffolk Light Railway at Wetheringsett.

A large number of visitors attended a Suffolk heritage railway’s annual 1940s event during the Bank Holiday weekend.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24