Top politician held up in Suffolk

TRAFFIC in and around Ipswich can be horrendous at times - at the start of the week we had chaos after accidents on both the A14 and the A12 brought the town to a standstill.

TRAFFIC in and around Ipswich can be horrendous at times - at the start of the week we had chaos after accidents on both the A14 and the A12 brought the town to a standstill.

But did our town become a scapegoat for a leading politician who was late to a film Question Time for the BBC earlier this week.

Conservative health spokesman Andrew Lansley, who has been a regular visitor to the town as problems mounted at Ipswich Hospital, was on the panel of the show recorded at Great Yarmouth.

Filming was due to start at 8.30pm on Thursday, and all the panelists were in place by 8pm . . . except Mr Lansley.


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The rest of the panel - and the studio audience - were left twiddling their thumbs.

He eventually turned up at 9pm, blaming “Traffic problems around Ipswich.”

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But after checking with the police we established there were no problems on the major roads around Ipswich - if Mr Lansley thought things were bad on Thursday he should have tried to get around the town on Monday evening!

My own suspicion is that Mr Lansley had miscalculated just what a hike it is to get from Ipswich to Great Yarmouth on the A12 which goes down to a single carriageway route - with a couple of by-passes - north of Woodbridge.

There's also the driving disaster that is Lowestoft to negotiate.

Yarmouth might be only about 55 miles from Ipswich - the same distance as Cambridge - but takes about twice as long to reach. We may moan about the A14 but it does move the traffic along.

So Mr Lansley, an East Anglian MP (he represents South Cambridgeshire), really ought to know a bit more about the roads in his home region and not blame “traffic around Ipswich” when he has failed to look at the time on his SatNav or journey planner.

And if he ever finds himself in the cabinet, rather than the shadow cabinet, maybe he'll remember how bad the roads are in parts of Suffolk and try to get us some money to improve them!

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