No More A14 Delays campaigners set out case for investment to DfT and Highways England
- Credit: Archant
Members of the team leading a campaign for Government investment in improvements to the A14 in Suffolk have met with officials from Highways England the Department for Transport to highlight the impact of delays on local businesses.
The No More A14 Delays Strategy Board, chaired by Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill, brought together senior staff from the two organisations with local business and council representatives for a discussion at the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce offices in Ipswich.
The strategy board has already submitted a business case on why seven “pinch points” on the A14 in Suffolk need to be included in the 2020-2025 Roads Investment Strategy, involving £850m of funding.
Besides alleviating the costs of delays and congestion at these points, the board says the investment would also contribute to growth in the form of 7,000 new jobs and £362m extra in Gross Value Added
Nick Burfield, policy director at Suffolk Chamber, said: “The officials were clearly really impressed by the first-hand accounts of the additional business costs and lost orders due to A14 delays. That is why we are still looking for more anecdotal evidence to add to the weight of our existing case.”
Jo Churchill added: “It was a great meeting ensuring that Highways England and the Department of Transport realise how vital the A14 is for the local, regional and national economy and for helping keep Suffolk on the move.”
The seven pinch points identified as in need of improvement are: Junction 37 (Exning), Junction 43 (Bury St. Edmunds - Central); Junction 44 (Bury St Edmunds - Moreton Hall); Junction 55 (Ipswich - Copdock); Junction 56 (Ipswich - Wherstead); Junction 57 (Ipswich - Ransomes Europark); and Junction 58 (Ipswich - Seven Hills).
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Companies and residents are asked to share their experiences by going to: https://twitter.com/NoA14DelaysSfk or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Moss, commercial director at precast concrete manufacturer Poundfield Products, based near Stowmarket, said: “Every delay for our lorries getting on to and off the A14 in Suffolk means lost time and increased costs for us.
“We are caught right in the middle of the A14’s pinch points.”