Suffolk MP in angry exchange over road

A SUFFOLK MP has today demanded an explanation as to why road improvements finished six months late and reportedly £2million over budget.David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, has written to the Highways Agency on behalf of thousands of road users about the works at the A14 Rookery Crossroads, at Rougham.

A SUFFOLK MP has today demanded an explanation as to why road improvements finished months late and reportedly £2million over budget.

David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, has written to the Highways Agency on behalf of thousands of road users about the works at the A14 Rookery Crossroads, at Rougham.

Mr Ruffley has also asked for assurances that future projects on the A14 – Suffolk's major trunk road - will arrive on time and on budget.

In a letter to Archie Robertson, the chief executive of the Highways Agency, he said: “I am sure you will agree that the improvements are vital to road safety.


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“I am writing to ask what explanation the Highways Agency has for the project overrunning by six months and arriving a reported £2 million over budget.

“I would also like to ask what steps you are taking to ensure future projects on the A14, such as the proposed Haughley New Street improvements, arrive on time and on budget.

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“I look forward to your response so that I can assure my constituents everything is being done to ensure the better management of future road safety improvements on the A14.”

The new Rookery Crossroads was officially opened on Friday and final resurfacing should be completed within the next two weeks.

Mr Ruffley said: “The opening of the Rookery Crossroads was a very welcome day. I had been campaigning for these vital road safety improvements since my election in 1997.

“However, the taxpayers have every right to question the delays to this project and the spiralling costs that resulted.”

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said the original completion date was December last year.

He said: “The scheme cost is now £12m. The delay in completion and additional work identified during construction has increased the scheme costs.

“However this will be limited by invoking penalty clauses on the contractor. The Agency will be analysing the final cost closely to see why this overrun has occurred and what lessons can be learned for the future.

“As regards to the A14 Haughley New Street to Stowmarket scheme, the scheme proposes to build a new section of the A14 south of the existing A14 so the majority of the work will be carried out offline of the existing A14 - meaning minimal disruption to road users.

“However, traffic management will be required when it comes to linking up with the existing A14 at either end. Draft Orders for the scheme are scheduled to be published in the spring.”

WEBLINK:

www.highways.gov.uk

www.davidruffleymp.com

Do you think Mr Ruffley is right to question the Highways Agency? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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