New campaign aims to improve A14 in Suffolk
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
A new bid to improve the A14 across Suffolk is to be launched this week by the county’s chamber of commerce.
The Suffolk Chamber says the trunk road is vital for business, and has launched the campaign under the banner of “No More Delays in Suffolk.”
It aims to build on the improvements to the road between Cambridge and Huntingdon which are due to start next year and be completed by the end of the decade.
The chamber’s campaign calls for improvements to a number of key junctions between the Seven Hills interchange to the east of Ipswich to the A142 Exning junction at Newmarket.
Some of the improvements are comparatively simple capacity improvements at junctions. The Chamber proposes that extra lanes should be created at two stretches of the road near Ipswich.
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And one of the largest schemes proposed is reconstruction of the troublesome Copdock Mill junction with the A12 – a regular congestion blackspot.
Chamber chief executive John Dugmore said: “This campaign is the coming together of businesses and communities who are tired of a piecemeal approach to improving the A14 over recent years.
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“There really does need to be a strategic approach to dealing with the constant problems drivers experience every single day. If there is not then it will continue to be a ‘fighting fires’ approach where the next crisis is always the priority.
“There has to be a joined up plan and there has to be a long term commitment to the right funding. It is what business needs, it is what Suffolk needs and it is what our economy needs.”
The campaign is backed by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, whose chief executive Mark Pendlington said: “The A14 is one of the UK’s most important enterprise corridors.
“It links Britain’s biggest container Port at Felixstowe with the rest of the UK and keeping the East mobile and accessible to world sectors and markets, many of which are located and investing in Suffolk and Norfolk.”
The scheme also has the backing of politicians of all parties – Conservative MPs Ben Gummer and Therese Coffey as well as Ipswich council’s Labour leader David Ellesmere all gave the proposal their backing.
Mr Gummer said it was important to have a strategy to develop the road to avoid work being carried out with no coordination.
And Dr Coffey said haulage businesses based at Felixstowe in her constituency were often frustrated by problems at Nacton junction and on the Orwell Bridge.
Mr Ellesmere said the greatest problem with the road in east Suffolk remained the Orwell Bridge: “Any detailed look at the issue needs to look at how we can increase the capacity there and make it more robust when there is a road closure,” he said.