Suffolk: MPs press Chancellor on A14 toll issue

Tim Yeo, Chancellor George Osborne, David Ruffley, and Therese Coffey outside Number 11 Downing Stre

Tim Yeo, Chancellor George Osborne, David Ruffley, and Therese Coffey outside Number 11 Downing Street. - Credit: Archant

Four of Suffolk’s MPs have met Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to continue their case against proposals for a toll on a new A14 road in Cambridgeshire.

They met Mr Osborne less than a week after he delighted businesses in the county by accepting that the government was reconsidering its plans for a toll on a new road between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

The group was led by Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey, who was joined by South Suffolk’s Tim Yeo and David Ruffley from Bury St Edmunds. Waveney MP Peter Aldous joined the meeting later.

Their meeting at Number 11 Downing Street followed on from a meeting with the Prime Minister on the same issue last month.

While pressing the need for the essential improvements, the Suffolk MPs outlined wide concerns from businesses and residents that the A14 should not be the only scheme to be singled out for a toll.

Dr Coffey said: “It was another very useful meeting and we put across a strong case to the Chancellor. Suffolk MPs are united in continuing to press the case for the toll to be removed.”

She added: “The petition I presented to Parliament last week shows the strength of feeling amongst local amongst residents and businesses who feel the toll is a tax on their success. We will continue to do all we can to stop this.”

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Mr Ruffley said: “Suffolk and Cambridgeshire residents would be the only people in the country paying a toll on their A road.

“It will be compulsory for HGVs and, in practice, for all other drivers because the A14 in its existing form will cease to exist.

“It’s a Poll Tax on Wheels for anyone trying to get in and out of Suffolk on the A14. I said to George Osborne he should axe this toll on Suffolk in his Autumn Statement.

“I said to him my constituents opposed it 100% and urged him to think again. He was left in no doubt by me that Suffolk must not be a guinea pig for road pricing. Suffolk is not, and never will be, a soft touch.”