MPs push for A11 dualling to go ahead

Strategic project `has to be priority’

MPs are to seek urgent meetings with coalition ministers to try to ensure the �120m dualling of the A11 in Suffolk does not become a victim of public spending cuts.

The upgrade of the nine-mile section of road between Barton Mills and Thetford, eliminating the notorious Elveden crossroads accident blackspot, was given the go-ahead last year, subject to a public inquiry.

However, the new Conservative-Liberal Demo-crat government is reviewing all major spending projects as it battles the huge black hole in the economy.

At a meeting in the House of Commons, newly-elected Suffolk West MP Matt Hancock is to join forces with Norfolk MPs to make the case for the scheme to go ahead.

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“We understand the mess in which Labour has left the public finances, and that the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne says the cash has run out,” said Mr Hancock.

“However, we are going to make the case that the completion of the A11 upgrade is the single most important strategic highway improvement in the region and should proceed for a number of reasons, including safety.

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“We will be seeking a meeting with Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and I am lobbying Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.”

During the General Election campaign, Labour’s Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said: “I fully understand how important it is to the regional economy as we come out of recession.

“The funding is there, the commitment on behalf of Labour is there, and I pledge we will start the work as soon as planning consent is there.”

Only last Sunday, a two-car accident at Elveden caused the A11 to be shut for seven hours. Four people were injured in the crash.

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