A14 in Suffolk needs a major upgrade - not just the Copdock interchange
- Credit: Michael Hall
Other parts of the A14 in Suffolk need improvements, it is not just the Copdock interchange - that's the message from businesses in Suffolk as they step up calls for action in 2022.
National Highways, which manages the road for the government, is holding a consultation on improving possibly the worst bottleneck junction in the county at Copdock, near Ipswich.
But drivers and transport operators are keen ministers should not ignore problems elsewhere on the road in Suffolk where problems are becoming clearer since the Cambridge to Huntingdon section was rebuilt.
The "No More Delays on the A14" campaign was set up by the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to press for improvements, and gained the support of Suffolk MPs whose constituents and businesses were affected by problems on the road.
The chamber is set to look again at what is needed to press its case early this year.
Spokesman Paul Simon said: “Suffolk Chamber continues to lead a broad coalition of partners lobbying for upgrades along the whole of the A14 in Suffolk as it is clearly Britain’s premier trade route and so a road of national significance in contributing to the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.
“This campaign has achieved a number of victories in recent years, including persuading Highways England to designate the A14 in Suffolk as an expressway and ensuring that the Copdock Interchange made it onto the list of potential RIS3 projects, for which the initial options consultation is taking place now.
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"In addition, the exciting Freeport East project offers the prospect that funding might come available to address certain improvements along the A14 other than Copdock.
“However, we are concerned that the fragmentation of funding options makes it harder to land systemic upgrades of equal quality and in a coordinated manner along the A14 in Suffolk that will ensure maximum benefits for both businesses and residents alike.
"We are reconvening the A14 Strategy Board to press the case for a comprehensive upgrade of the highway to all relevant government departments.”
The Suffolk Chamber's campaign is asking National Highways to improve most of the junctions on the A14 in Suffolk. It has always seen the Copdock Interchange as the biggest single challenge - but says there are issues with most junctions, especially at the busiest times of the day.
The Chamber estimates that £150m investment in improving junctions and rebuilding the road at Haughley and between Copdock and the Orwell Bridge to the south of Ipswich would bring massive economic benefits to the country.