Boost for A11 dualling hopes
THE Government has pledged to look for extra cash to pay for the dualling of the notorious A11.Suffolk County Council leader Bryony Rudkin said yesterdayshe was "optimistic" about the prospect of major improvements being made to the road, following a meeting with transport minister David Jamieson.
THE Government has pledged to look for extra cash to pay for the dualling of the notorious A11.
Suffolk County Council leader Bryony Rudkin said yesterdayshe was "optimistic" about the prospect of major improvements being made to the road, following a meeting with transport minister David Jamieson.
Mrs Rudkin was part of a delegation from various concerned parties in East Anglia who met the minister to call for the A11 dual carriageway scheme to become a top priority after the Government removed it from national road improvement plans.
She said: "The minister really listened, I was impressed with the response and we have established two things.
"Firstly, the minister will see what funds are available at the end of the financial year. We have made the case for that and he undertook to do it. "Secondly, the Government is consulting with regional bodies about what they want as their priorities and we have already established our priorities in the Regional Spatial Strategy.
"So we are hoping we can hit the ground running and be at the head of the queue."
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There have been numerous fatalities along the A11, between the Fiveways roundabout near Mildenhall, and Thetford, and the EADT has led a campaign to see it dualled.
However, in spite of preliminary work having been carried out by the Highways Agency, the Government announced last November that it was reclassifying roads into those of regional and national importance, leading to certain plans, including the A11, to be taken out of the national programme.
West Suffolk MP Richard Spring, who also attended yesterday's meeting, was unimpressed with the minister's stance.
He said: "We have been calling for this for years, there is no need to look at our priorities it has already been agreed that the A11 is a major priority.
"This is not a party political issue, it has been agreed across all parties that this is what we need and the Government has just out the project out to grass.
"There were 136 accidents along that stretch of road last year, so the minister saying he is going to see if there is any cash is not good enough, it's not definitive and what we need is a definite commitment."
Among the delegation were representatives of Norfolk County Council and Norfolk MPs Gillian Shepherd and Keith Simpson, who were also petitioning for improvements to the A47.
John Matthissen, of the Suffolk Green Party, has also contacted the minister to register concerns about the environmental impact of the scheme going ahead.
Announcements of funding for regional priorities are not expected to be announced until November this year.