Clegg says he will not deviate from principle of A14 toll but ‘we will listen to people, of course we will’

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge. Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge.

Saturday, October 26, 2013
10:57 AM

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was not going to “deviate from the view of tolling on the A14 and the principle of tolling” but pledged to listen to reaction.

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Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge.Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge.

He said: “We will listen to people, of course we will. I am just asking people, in return, to not rigidly dismiss tolling out of hand. Where we need to expand in road capacity perhaps we need to share that cost with taxpayers at large and people who actually use the road”.

Mr Clegg, on a whistle stop visit to Cambridgeshire yesterday, said the issue of the A14 down to a matter of principle.

“Clearly we need to deal with huge bottlenecks that cost the economy so much and whether we think it should be borne by all taxpayers generally or by those that use them.”

Mr Clegg said the country was still paying off “a huge, huge national deficit which we inherited and we have to work on some ways of paying it off. That is why we should not dismiss tolling out of hand. Simply to say no to a toll is not necessarily the best way of finding the money for the A14.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge. Left: Karen Houghton Nursery Manager, CEO of CHS Group Nigel Howlett, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Julian Huppert MP.Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge. Left: Karen Houghton Nursery Manager, CEO of CHS Group Nigel Howlett, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Julian Huppert MP.

The deputy prime minister insisted he was “not deaf to the controversy surrounding this issue” and said consultation was still on going.

“I wouldn’t support the idea that a toll should pay for the whole cost of the A14 upgrade- the idea is that tolling pays for some part of it,” he said.

Responding to questioning about widespread opposition to the toll – that included dockers at Felixstowe to residents worried about Cambridgeshire side roads being a ‘rat run’- he said much would depend on the price at which the toll was fixed.

“It depends on what level you set the toll and exactly whether people get used to a toll rate when it is set,” he said. “It is very difficult to predict the affect on neighbouring roads.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge.Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge.

Mr Clegg was interviewed after he had visited a nursery in Cambridge to look at improved childcare provision in action.

“There is no point in the government making announcements that include new entitlements for children if you don’t go and take a look for yourself,” he said.

He said there was a similar debate about schools funding and “there is a legitimate feeling that schools in Cambridgeshire are underfunded and I hope within the next 18 months to get a national funding formula agreed which will be fairer.”

He said he had a “lot of sympathy” for those who complained about the “comparative under funding” of Cambridgeshire schools.

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge.Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visit Sunflower Nursery Cambridge.

“It is very uneven and very unfair the way in which schools are funded,” said Mr Clegg.

On the issue of care for the elderly – where the county council like other local authorities was faced with increasing costs of provision- Mr Clegg said the coalition Government had set aside £3.8bn to bring NHS and social care systems together.

It would, he said, “provide unprecedented help to local authorities over the medium term to help sort out these pressures by bringing these two systems together.”

Mr Clegg said the Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb would shortly be introducing “pioneer” areas where this integration would take place.

The Government, he said, had “inherited a mess” over the care of the elderly because often health and social care teams didn’t speak with each other and no care package was in place for elderly people when they left hospital.

25 comments

  • Clegg has a right cheek - drivers pay around £40,000,000,000 (yes, forty billion) each year to the Treasury in tax. There is no case for increasing this burden. However the EU wants road pricing for all cars on all roads, and Clegg's PC party is happy to do its dirty work by promoting it in East Anglia.

    Report this comment

    Brian Mooney

    Friday, November 1, 2013

  • "It is very difficult to predict the AFFECT on neighbouring roads." Can't we do better than that? EFFECT, please. No wonder Clegg is worried about Cambridge schools !!!

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • I can't believe people still vote for these yellow Tories.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • Whererver the wind comes from I will hang my Cleggy vane, he's walking funny because he's got the fence still stuck up his posterior.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

  • oldsweat: they didn't change their tune over tuition fees: it's a GRADUTE TAX for Chrissakes!

    Report this comment

    martin wallis

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

  • Been political since school and in all that time the three main parties have lied to and ignored the people. Beats me why fools keep voting for these traitors.

    Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • The essential thing is how many seats will the Lib Dems lose? The Tories will lose even more and once they all gang up on Cameron, he will do a U turn rather than risk losing a lot of seats. The grant for the incinerator has been withdrawn, we are about to start building nuclear reactors and green taxes may be cut too. How long before we get an announcement on the toll road or will he do a Labour and leave it to be implemented after the next election, same as the 50p tax rate?

    Report this comment

    andy

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • Dear Mr Clegg, As leader of a party desperate for voters you need to know that I will not deviate from not voting for you or your party. Knowing the time it takes for the A14 to actually be built the odds are that you will be but a distant bad memory on the political scene - if not then it's time for me to abandon this country just as you have abandoned East Anglia!

    Report this comment

    Midasi

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • It's hugely disappointing to see that the EDP, as it marches inexorably down the path to tabloidisation and sensationalism, has passed up a perfectly good opportunity to come up with an eye-catching title for this piece: "Clegg not a deviant".

    Report this comment

    martin wallis

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

  • This statement alone just confirms what a 'dimwit' tory tail wag he is !, he obviously does not even understand the principle of 'listening' !, no honesty, no integrity and no brains !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • If he won't deviate and is willing to listen (surely yet another new oxymoron) then the only assumption can be that Mrs Clegg has her fingers in road building as well as wind power? The sooner these LibDem idiots are removed the better for UKPLC

    Report this comment

    windup

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

  • or in layman terms, "we don't care what the people say we have already made a decision but you can chat about it if you like".

    Report this comment

    ggj666

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

  • Listening and hearing are two different things.

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • What he says is correct - we should not dismiss tolling out of hand. Quite right. What people want is a decent choice. The M6 has a decent choice. The proposal offered here though is not a choice. Thats why people are annoyed about it.

    Report this comment

    dbr

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • I once supported the LibDems but fell out when they changedctheir tune over tuition fees. Now I shall certainly never vote for them again. We´ll listen and totally ignore what you want. David Cameron has said exactly the same. Where is democracy _ In the trash bin ! I don´t trust Ed Milliband either !

    Report this comment

    oldsweat

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • nick clegg hasnt lisened to public opinion for the last two odd years so why change . The only time he will listen is when at the next election his party is completely wiped out. This is a party like labour who do not represent or listen to public opinion any more

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • silly me!! toll roads?? ok for countries with low fuel prices and no road tax.....but the uk?? another cheap shot at the motorist and the haulage industry tax foreign road users mr clegg along with the health tourists not the hard pressed uk tax payers

    Report this comment

    steveo

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • Getting the people who use the roads to front the cost of the roads is a great idea. The fairest way of doing this would be some sort of tax on fuel, hold on, we already have that, and it's currently about 80 pence per liter of petrol. So what Mr Clegg is really saying is that we should charge road users twice, but that's if we forget about vehicle excise duty, which was originally created to cover the cost of road building and maintenance. It's all very well for those for get paid travel expenses to tell the rest of us we need to pay more to be able to travel.

    Report this comment

    Ipswichguy

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • My two daughters could not do their jobs without owning a car, I was the same along with most other workers. Its about time motorists were given a break. Clegg did change his mind over `university` fees. You cannot graduate unless you have been tutored.

    Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

  • Clegg only got his position thanks to the cowardice of Cameron refusing to call another election . Clegg seems to have forgotten that he is the postion he is today was by throwing all the Lib Dem ideas aside, whatever they were, and becoming a born again Tory. To hear him pledge and promise anything is laughable. Wasn' t one of his early pledges to oppose the university fees.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • we will not deviate from tolling the A14 but pledged to listen . What kind of statement is that . That statement made no sense at all . You only get what you vote for

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • Whats the point of promising to listen if you have already made your mind up? And sad to see @steveo shoe horning hisher unpleasant agenda into the discussion

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • Whenever I see or hear "Nick Clegg pledges", I reach for the sick-bag.

    Report this comment

    Dictate

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

  • He dares to mention the word 'principle' !, that's really rich coming from a man who hasn't any !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • Note the stock politician's lie "we will listen". It's designed so that you'll think he means "we'll listen and act on what you say". But what he actually means is "we'll listen to you and completely ignore everything you say".

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

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

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