December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
A toll on the A14 could harm logistics firms in East Anglia’s golden triangle and risk creating “‘A’ road apartheid”, Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley said today.
During a debate over concerns about plans to charge drivers to use the upgraded road, he argued that by not tolling other ‘A’ roads in the region and elsewhere, business users and other travellers in Suffolk were being discriminated against.
He spoke during a Westminster session secured by Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey where she told new roads minister Robert Goodwill that the A14 upgrade should not be the only improvement singled out for a toll.
The Department for Transport’s proposals for improving the congested Cambridge-Huntingdon section of the A14 involve charging vehicles to use a new Huntingdon bypass and demolishing part of the existing route through the town, forcing hauliers to pay the charge or face a lengthy detour.
Suffolk Chamber’s “No Toll Tax on Suffolk” campaign highlights concerns that, with Felixstowe ranking at the UK’s largest container port, the county’s businesses will be affected disproportionately.
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said that while he understood the financial pressure on the Treasury and was grateful that tolling proposals were more reasonable than feared, he said it was wrong that people in Ipswich and hauliers were being asked to pay “a congestion charge for Cambridge”,
He said: “It is wrong for economic success, which is more fragile in east Suffolk, to be impeded by Cambridge’s wild and ever growing success.”
He added that the minister should look at alternative schemes which would put the cost on to the main users and the main reasons for the congestion, which do not include the hauliers of Ipswich, Felixstowe and east Suffolk.
See tomorrow’s paper for the full story