Cameron says A47 is “crucial”, but will not confirm it will be in Autumn Statement

Prime Minister David Cameron on his visit to Archant's Norwich headquarters. Photo: Steve Adams Prime Minister David Cameron on his visit to Archant's Norwich headquarters. Photo: Steve Adams

Friday, January 17, 2014
5:35 PM

David Cameron has said an upgrade to the A47 is crucial for Norfolk and Suffolk, but would not confirm that it will be in the final mini-budget later this year.

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In an interview at the headquarters of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, Mr Cameron said that key East Anglia industries required good transport links, and he wanted to “unlock the true potential” of Norfolk and Suffolk.

He added that he would continue to talk to Chancellor George Osborne about the road.

The Department for Transport has said a feasibility study will be completed before the Autumn Statement, likely to be in November or December this year. But questioned by the EDP about whether the A47 upgrade would be included in the Chancellor’s spending blueprint six months before the next election, the Autumn Statement, Mr Cameron said he could not comment, adding: “I’m sure the first Lord of the Treasury and the Second Lord of the Treasury will keep talking to each other.”

The prime minister is also known as the First Lord of the Treasury, while Chancellor George Osborne is known as the Second Lord of the Treasury.

Mr Cameron said: “A47 is crucial. It is particularly crucial for Lowestoft to be included in that”

“I think is a very important programme. Let’s make sure it happens faster than the A11 did. We don’t want lots of delays. These things do take time, but it is important to get on with it.”

The prime minister travelled to Norwich from an earlier visit to Lowestoft by train, where he heard from Norwich MP Chloe Smith about the taskforce set up to work out a detailed plan to get faster and more reliable trains from Norwich to London in 90 minutes.

He said: “Obviously the rail links matter a huge amount as well. I have been talking to Chloe about that. Her very good group are bringing together the checklist of things that need to happen between the people who have the franchise and Network Rail aswell. “Are we going to get faster trains? Can we improve the track? There needs to be a programme to deliver this 90 minute service that we want to see.”

He said that a commitment to the rail service would “come in stages”.

He added: “The point of the exercise for that group is to draw up the action checklist and then we need to turn to Network Rail and a timetable for their improvements and then look at the 2016 franchise to see what more you can get out of the people operating the franchise to deliver. In the end it is going to be all those things that we will be doing.”

But general election candidates for Labour said that many people took what he said with a “pinch of salt”.

Lara Norris, Labour’s General Election candidate for Great Yarmouth said: “Investment in infrastructure in the region is desperately needed to ensure jobs and growth. All we seem to be getting from the Prime Minister is a commitment that at some point in the future, he will see if he can possibly release the funds that are needed.

“Unfortunately the track record of this Government, on things like the NHS, Sure Start, child benefit, and tuition fees means that many of us in Great Yarmouth take what the Prime Minister says with a pinch of salt.”

Jessica Asato, Labour’s General Election candidate for Norwich North said: “I welcome any infrastructure investment but all you need to do is look at the debacle of the A14 to see the true worth of David Cameron’s words. Incompetent ministers delayed Labour’s plans for a new road in 2010 and wasted three years on their failed toll scheme. As a result costs have shot up by £200million and local people and businesses are still waiting for work to begin on this vital new road.”

Clive Lewis, Labour’s General Election candidate for Norwich South said: “It’s noticeable that David Cameron isn’t saying anything about the cost-of-living crisis that is hitting families all over Norfolk and Suffolk. He has had a look at the polls and come to the conclusion that he is in real danger of losing important seats across the region and is running scared.”

7 comments

  • He is grasping at straws, why didn't he do it years ago, he is wrong about jobs, the national debt, taxation etc. Miliband and his party are a joke, as for polls any party who is in power is lower in the polls and let's face it some people are getting a wake up call because they have to get a job and be accountable.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • Well sweet cheeks I'm getting confused. This must be a different party on the news today talking about their plans for the banks. Unfortunately you seem in denial about the opinion polls.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • PS Not the best front page to be sitting Dave in front of, the Tory who shot himself and his wife!

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • I think that we are going to hear a lot more concern for our region and "crucials' from slippery Dave. The nearer the election the bigger the promise and size of the "crucial".

    Report this comment

    stormy

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Country on the way back up. Low inflation down. Welfare benefits cut. People on £10,000 out of tax in April Minimum wage going up.Deficit we were left with third down..Nastily side eyers outside forum,Richard Howitt,Green Party.Who;s the class act now

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • What ever is Asato on about, Labour didn't have any money in 2010 and they haven't got a clue now as she as proven time and time again. As for you Clive Lewis, can I just ask you why the country has money problems in the first place? It will be a sad day if Labour ever gets back into power, No Plans, No Idea and No Future

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • Enough to give him and Tory MPs Saturday's EDP front page I expect. He has fudged giving any commitments. If he doesn't make a commitment this year then it is a waste of time. He will be gone next year.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Friday, January 17, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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