‘Urgent need’ to upgrade A12 due to rising traffic, says MP
Ever-rising amounts of traffic mean there is an “urgent and pressing need” for improvements to the A12 along the Suffolk coast, MP Dan Poulter has warned.
The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP has been one of those leading calls for changes to the key route, between Ipswich and Lowestoft, for years.
The last major work on the road was the Saxmundham bypass, which was completed in 1988.
However, since then, Mr Poulter says traffic on the route has increased by about 50% - with thousands more homes due to be built in the years ahead.
And with EDF Energy proposing to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C, along with Scottish Power Renewables’ East Anglia ONE and TWO windfarms, Dr Poulter said: “The A12 is now a route of national, as well as local and regional significance.”
He and other MPs have already asked ministers that the road be retrunked.
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Dr Poulter has now submitted detailed evidence for further examination, while also calling for Highways England to take back responsibility for maintaining the road.
With the government now promising to invest billions of pounds in infrastructure projects across the UK to help rejuvenate the economy after the coronavirus crisis, Dr Poulter said: “There is an urgent and pressing need for a strategic vision and investment in the A12.
“In addition to those who live and work in the area and rely on the A12, the Suffolk coast attracts thousands of tourists every year and retrunking the road would open the door for greater investment, improving traffic flow and safety and future proofing the A12 as part of Suffolk’s emerging major road network.”
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Dugmore also backed Dr Poulter’s calls, saying: “Suffolk Chamber welcomes this initiative from Dr Dan Poulter as we believe it is important that a national body, Highways England, has direct responsibility for the A12, given the number of nationally significant initiatives that will impact on the road over the next few decades.
“We also consider it essential that this stretch of the A12 is under the aegis of the same authority to that of the A47 north of Lowestoft as the two are, in effect in effect, one route linking Essex/London on the one hand with key business locations along the whole of the Suffolk and Norfolk east coast.”
Mr Dugmore has also called for A14 upgrades to be included in the prime minister’s “new deal” after coronavirus.
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