East Anglia: Labour pledge removes uncertainty from A14 development
PUBLISHED: 10:18 12 May 2014 | UPDATED: 10:18 12 May 2014
An incoming Labour government would not delay current proposals to upgrade the A14 road between Suffolk and the midlands.
That was the pledge from shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh as the consultation period for the new £1.5 billion section of the road from Cambridge to Huntingdon continues.
By the time of next year’s general election, we should be in the middle of the detailed examination of the proposals – and a formal decision by the Secretary of State is due to be made towards the end of next year.
When the Coalition government took power in 2010 an earlier, but similar plan, was halted because of fears that it would be too expensive.
But Ms Creagh us that would not be the case this time.
She said: “The chaotic story of the A14 tells you everything you need to know about this out-of-touch Government’s approach to roads.
“Incompetent Ministers delayed Labour’s plans for a new road in 2010 and wasted three years on their half-baked plan to toll the road which would have caused chaos on local roads, worsened congestion and threatened jobs at the port of Felixstowe.
“That scheme has failed and as a result of their delay costs have shot up by £200 million and local people and businesses are still waiting for work to begin.
“A future Labour Government would end the delays, stick to the timetable and get on with delivering the improvements as quickly as possible. Local residents and businesses deserve nothing less after being let down by Tory Ministers.”
Her comments were welcomed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Dugmore.
He said: “Businesses across Suffolk will welcome Labour making clear their commitment to upgrading the A14 and more importantly their promise to get the work underway without delay.
“The reason that No Toll Tax on Suffolk was so successful was that firms big and small worked together towards an important common goal.
“To see this reflected by major political parties is good news for business, good news for our economy and good news for Suffolk. The A14 upgrade must be a priority for whoever forms the next Government.”