MP calls for upgrade to A12

WAVENEY MP Bob Blizzard has called on Suffolk County Council to "reverse its current policies" and upgrade the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft to dual carriageway.

WAVENEY MP Bob Blizzard has called on Suffolk County Council to "reverse its current policies" and upgrade the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft to dual carriageway.

Mr Blizzard was speaking after a new report commissioned by the Suffolk Development Agency said upgrading the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft would bring substantial benefits to the economy of north east Suffolk.

As reported earlier in the EADT the report from transport consultants Ecotec said upgrading the A12 would result in higher levels of employment and an increase in prosperity in the Lowestoft and Waveney area, while the measures currently proposed by Suffolk County Council would destroy jobs and depress the local economy.

The main findings of the report are:

You may also want to watch:

· The Route Management Study for the A12 being introduced by Suffolk County Council is likely to result in the loss of up to 600 jobs in the next 10 years and cost the local economy £21 million. It would also dent tourism by reducing visitor numbers by more than 8,000.

· Dualling the A12 would result in an increase of up to 340 additional jobs and expand the local economy by up to £12 million.

Most Read

· Upgrading the A12 would improve the business competitiveness of many companies, increase the prospects of attracting inward investment, and help tourism through a rise of up to 16,000 visitor numbers.

The Labour MP said the report was a "complete justification" for his campaign to upgrade the A12.

"This report shoots down Suffolk County Council's current A12 proposals and is a complete justification of our Upgrade the A12 campaign.

"It shows the county council's strategy will make Lowestoft seem more remote and produce dire consequences for local employment and prosperity," said Mr Blizzard.

He said the area was still trying to come to terms with job losses in the area including the 200 redundancies announced in Lowestoft by Shell UK recently.

"We're trying hard to overcome the blow of recent redundancies, the last thing we need is planned rundown from the wrong transport policies.

"Suffolk County Council must now drop this disastrous approach which was drawn up without any thought for Lowestoft's economic needs and work up some proposals for upgrading the route," said Mr Blizzard.

"The new report shows clearly that improving the A12 to give us a faster, more reliable journey time will have significant economic benefits for Lowestoft and Waveney.

"It is a vital part of the overall regeneration process," he said.

Joan Girling, a member of the county council's executive committee, has welcomed the report and said the committee was looking forward to working with the Suffolk Development Agency and other partners to consider whether an additional package of measures is justified to support economic development and regeneration in the Waveney area.

A ten-year transport plan announced earlier by the county council had no proposals to dual the A12 between Ipswich and Norwich although major road improvements in north Suffolk included the new £30 million South Lowestoft relief road.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter