Prime minister David Cameron puts Norfolk and Suffolk at top of infrastructure list

British Prime Minister David Cameron gestures while speaking during a meeting with G-20 leaders which focuses on business and labour issues on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. World leaders are also discussing Syria's civil war at the summit but look no closer to agreeing on international military intervention to stop it. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool) British Prime Minister David Cameron gestures while speaking during a meeting with G-20 leaders which focuses on business and labour issues on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. World leaders are also discussing Syria's civil war at the summit but look no closer to agreeing on international military intervention to stop it. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool)

Friday, January 17, 2014
11:05 AM

Prime minister David Cameron has signalled he is serious about much-needed road and rail investment, and said the east is already top of the list for planned transport cash outside London and the South-East.

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Other concerns for Mr Cameron

AMBULANCES: It is more than a year since we launched our Ambulance Watch campaign. There has been a high profile change of leadership, promises of more front-line staff, yet all is not still right and targets are being missed.

MENTAL HEALTH: An investigation by the EDP last autumn revealed that the Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust had ordered a review into the reasons behind a spike in unexpected deaths in Norfolk after 20 patients in their care died during a five-month spell. Yet GPs in charge of NHS purse strings have ruled out any significant increase in funding for mental health services.

NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL: The authority is wrestling with £189m worth of savings at the same time it is grappling with a number of big issues. King’s Lynn incinerator plans remain unresolved. A £169m government PFI credit was pulled last year, but the cabinet plans to continue with the project, however it is still waiting to hear if it will be given planning permission. Elsewhere social workers have been struggling to cope with “unmanageable” case loads in children’s services and Ofsted has also criticised the support it gives to schools.

FLOOD COMPENSATION: Norfolk and Suffolk councils are facing a huge costs in the clean-up operation following the floods at the beginning of December. There are concerns about the cost of fixing flood defences and the clean-up operation and DCLG will only cover some of those. With Environment Agency cutbacks, there are very real concerns about our ability to cope with future storm surges.

PHONE SIGNAL: Our communication infrastructure continues to be a problem in our rural area. Many communities still struggle to get a decent, if any, broadband connection.

It comes just over a week after this paper invited him to visit the region in a bid to make the A47 a top priority, and years of campaigning for faster, more reliable rail services.

Ahead of a visit to Norfolk and Suffolk today, where he will hear the case for A47 improvement, he said he wanted Norfolk to be right at the heart of the recovery, adding that modern roads and railways were a vital part of his long-term plan to secure Britain’s future.

“Today I’m visiting Norfolk to talk about the government’s commitment to all of this. I’m coming here because this is the part of Britain – outside of London and the South East – where we’re planning to put the most money into transport,” he said.

Last year chancellor George Osborne set up a rail task force to look at the finer details of how to improve the service from Norwich to London.

And earlier in the year transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin added the key A47 trunk road, which links Great Yarmouth with the Midlands, to a list of seven feasibility studies which are at the top of the queue for road investment.

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Earlier this month councillors, business representatives and Waveney MP Peter Aldous launched a campaign to extend the A47 to Lowestoft, with proposals for a new bridge in the centre of the Suffolk town. The government’s spending plans between 2013 and 2019 include almost £2bn for projects, including £1.5bn for the A14 upgrade and £81m for the Northern Distributor Road.

Mr Cameron said: “Why does this all matter so much? Well put simply, the jobs of the future depend on infrastructure fit for the future. It is the foundation stone on which businesses can grow, compete and create jobs – jobs that provide financial security for families here in Norfolk and across the country.

“So here in Norfolk there are going to be a number of improvements to the transport network. Work’s already got under way to widen the A11 between Fiveways and Thetford.

“I know how many problems there have been with congestion on these roads in recent years and we want to get these sorted out. On top of this, we’re also examining ways to cut journey times between London and Norwich by rail.

“As Britain comes out the other side of the great recession, I want Norfolk to be right at the heart of our recovery. There’s no reason why this can’t be the case – this is an area with great universities, great businesses, great traditional industries like agriculture and great new ones like sciences. What’s needed now is an all out commitment to make sure those jobs and opportunities flow here in the years to come. With this investment in infrastructure – the biggest since the Victorian era – I’m determined to make sure they do.”

22 comments

  • Mr Cameron,leave Norfolk and Suffolk alone we the people do not want your help,apart from road improvements,it will mean more Chelsea tractors jamming up the North Norfolk coast

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    guggsy

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Why is the EDP comments section always full of whinging moaners who seem determined to tell us over and over about their stagnated views?

    Report this comment

    AA

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • There is no money allocatedavailable this side of the 2015 election so this is blatant electioneering. Promises of something that may or may not happen after the election. Personally I have no faith in Cameron at all, so like many comments I will believe it when I see it.

    Report this comment

    Lord 'Elp-Us

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Who's he kidding? Fine words butter no parsnips!

    Report this comment

    The man on the Clapham Omnibus

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Cameron and his cling ons like Smith are destroying this country, he's just putting the last nails in the coffin, Blair and Brown done the rest.

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    inactive user

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • perhaps he has come up here to look for some of his MP's who haven't been seen for years by the electorate!

    Report this comment

    Marigold

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Hey ,d.member. It is a bit harsh to call Cameron a "reptile". It is an insult to the species.

    Report this comment

    stormy

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • Yes, I have noticed we are top of the infrastructure list, is that why that why due to the Tory cuts NCC have been forced to cut back on on road expenditure? Pull the other one.

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    Vic Sponge

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • If he could get the A140 bypassing all villages and dualled, get the A11 sorted, get all the stupid roads sorted, get us high speed internet and within the next couple of years, sort out over inflated house prices, I might of actually been impressed. If government had to cover the costs of delays due to poor roads they'd soon do all of the above as it's cheaper than the cost to do it, e.g. delays getting through Long Time Waiting For A Bypass Stratton costs road users and businesses approx £30k per day, blasted get on with it, all of it, decades behind as it is.

    Report this comment

    Jason Bunn

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • This reptile should keep his nose out, we know how much damage it does, its bad enough having the wonderful Chloe Smith loitering about but is too much.

    Report this comment

    inactive user

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Wonder how many other regions or counties are being fed the same message. And note the "top of the list outside the south east" - so that's NOT top of the list is it?

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    Chris Booty

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Running scared of UKIP, if you asked me.

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    John L Norton

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • It's all well and good in proving the infrastructure to increase jobs in the future, perhaps they should speed up the "better broadband for norfolk" so that places other than towns can get some service otherwise what's the point of bringing the workforce!?

    Report this comment

    mrs lexx

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Who is "call me Dave" trying to kid? There is an election round the corner so he's canvassing us so called carrot cruncher's in an early pre-emptive electoral vote strike.

    Report this comment

    Clungemeister

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • It's all well and good in proving the infrastructure to increase jobs in the future, perhaps they should speed up the "better broadband for norfolk" so that places other than towns can get some service otherwise what's the point of bringing the workforce!?

    Report this comment

    mrs lexx

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Heck, Cameron coming to Norfolk for another PR photo shoot ! So soon after the other one. He will be able to find his own way here at this rate . Good old Norm will no doubt be beaming alongside him. Remember when was an MP for the region. Could there be an election soon? Whilst Dave is here perhaps he could explain how it is good for the A14 to be a toll road. Already bought and paid for by the taxpayer. Perhaps they need money to pay for the HS2 rail link. One that has no relevance to this region.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Well done Prime Minister putting Norfolk back on the map. On the uo,now.Better roads better county, better Country.better than the last lot who ruined everything

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    PaulH

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • It took a Tory government to get the A11 finally dualled. 13 years of Labour as the congestion got worse and worse. Those with nothing good to say about Cameron must keep to a steady 50 on the new road so they can recreate the joys of life under Labour.

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    a fine city

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • There must be an election coming up ?

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • A politician's answer if ever I've seen one. He will fudge actually giving any specifics, he just wants the votes in 2015. It's embarrassing these non-commitments have been given such front page coverage.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • AA, why are you reading the comments?

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    stormy

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Of course,we are getting ready for an election now.Leaving London to come to Norfolk and say the right things,then returning and delivering nothing..oh yes the final dualling of the A11, pity we had to wait so many years for Norwich to be finally connected to the motorway network.How many jobs lost due to poor infrastructure and how many which never did come in the first place we will never know.I will believe him when i see the A47 dualling taking place and London in 90 mins on the train!

    Report this comment

    lambo34

    Friday, January 17, 2014

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

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