Campaigning Suffolk business leaders press case for £800m A14 improvements at DfT meeting

From left, Jesse Norman MP , John Dugmore, Jo Churchill MP and Nick Burfield Picture: ANNA TREVERS

From left, Jesse Norman MP , John Dugmore, Jo Churchill MP and Nick Burfield Picture: ANNA TREVERS - Credit: Archant

Campaigning Suffolk business leaders took their case for £800m worth of improvements to the A14 to the Department for Transport (DfT).

Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore, policy director Nick Burfield and Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill met transport under-secretary Jesse Norman MP.

Highways England’s Strategic Road Network Initial Report earmarked the A14 as a ‘current, planned and potential expressway’ or motorway-grade two-lane highway. The road needs investment at seven pinch points to bring it up to scratch, the Chamber says. “The No More A14 Delays in Suffolk campaign is one of our most important current strategic lobbying initiatives and we wanted to emphasise the importance of the highway not only to local businesses, but as the arterial route for goods passing through Felixstowe to and from the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.” said Mr Dugmore.

“I think the Minister got the message about the A14 in Suffolk and we were encouraged by his level of interest and the responses he gave.”

Mrs Churchill said it was a “constructive” discussion. “It is vital we continue to push for improvements to this stretch of national strategic infrastructure,” she said.

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Suffolk Chamber and its partners backed the report’s proposals during a DfT consultation by the Department for Transport earlier this year.

The DfT is due to announce successful schemes within the next year, with work expected to begin on these between 2020 and 2025.

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