A14 campaign heads to Parliament to press case for road improvements

Mark Pendlington is hosting the meeting with South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge. Picture: SUFFOLK CHAM

Mark Pendlington is hosting the meeting with South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge. Picture: SUFFOLK CHAMBER - Credit: Archant

Members of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce are hoping to meet Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in Parliament next week as the press the case to upgrade the A14 in the county.

The campaigners looking to secure government investment at seven pinch points along the A14 and are travelling down to London make the next big push for the £150m investment that will unlock significant economic growth, jobs and housing.

Over the last two years, the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce-led No More A14 Delays in Suffolk has been building the business case – and wider public support – for what is seen by most commentators as “Britain’s Premier Trade Route” because of the amount of goods running along it to and from the Port of Felixstowe.

The campaign received a major boost last year when Highways England designated the highway as a “current, planned and potential expressway.”

Expressways are motorway-grade two-lane highways and their designation requires that all junctions off and onto them are enhanced.

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Since then the campaign has contributed compelling evidence to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) consultation into the Highways England report to ensure that the A14 – and other Suffolk projects – are included in the final Roads Investment Strategy (RIS) 2.

The DfT is due to make a final decision as to which projects will be funded under RIS2 later this year and the House of Commons reception, hosted by South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Mark Pendlington, chair of the A14 Strategy Board will allow the campaign to make its case in front of key decision-makers and influencers.

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Mr Grayling has been invited to attend alongside local MPs and business leaders, plus representatives from the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine, two key economic regions dependent on the A14 in Suffolk.

Mr Pendlington said: “The A14 in Suffolk is a vital part of Britain’s Premier Trade route, but is clearly not fit for the needs of our fast-growing economy.

“We have known from the outset that a comparatively modest investment would deliver significant benefits for the national economy, and give Suffolk the boost it needs to compete and win in the post-Brexit international marketplace.

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