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MP demands

PUBLISHED: 23:28 07 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:15 24 February 2010

AN MP stuck in last week's “horrific” traffic jam on the M11 around Stansted Airport has called for a top-level inquiry.

Richard Spring, MP for West Suffolk, was forced to spend last Thursday night in his car along with hundreds of other motorists when snow brought the M11 and a number of other trunk roads in the South East to a standstill.

AN MP stuck in last week's “horrific” traffic jam on the M11 around Stansted Airport has called for a top-level inquiry.

Richard Spring, MP for West Suffolk, was forced to spend last Thursday night in his car along with hundreds of other motorists when snow brought the M11 and a number of other trunk roads in the South East to a standstill.

Mr Spring has already called for Highways Agency bosses to face the sack for their handling of the situation and now he has written to Tim Matthews - its chief executive - urging him to instigate an “immediate and thorough inquiry into the chaos which ensued last week”.

The MP stressed: “Snow falls were relatively minor and it defies belief that adequate precautions were not taken. The Highways Agency has a statutory duty to maintain the motorways. It completely failed to do so last week with a level of almost indescribable incompetence at every stage.

“I myself was stuck in the traffic jam there for thirteen-and-a-half hours. Happily, I was much better prepared personally for this, compared with many others who suffered real cold and distress.

“Clearly, lessons need to be learned from this.”

The Highways Agency said it would be reviewing all its “processes and procedures”. A statement stressed: “We are continually monitoring the situation and we are trying to deal with the problems on the motorway network.”

It said last week's snow had a major impact on a large number of people: “And for many, who had to stay in their cars and vehicles overnight, it must have been a very unpleasant experience.”


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