Business Leader Calls Again For Inquiry On A14

PUBLISHED: 10:54 13 June 2011

Rush hour traffic builds up on the A14 just north of Cambridge

Rush hour traffic builds up on the A14 just north of Cambridge

Archant

"The business community don't care who pays for what, they just want action on the A14. They need to know that their staff are going to be at their desks on time, their deliveries are going to meet their contractual deadlines and that supplies can get through, when they need them."

BUSINESS leader John Bridge is continuing to press the Government to reconsider the decision to scrap the A14 improvement programme, claiming that its refusal to follow-through with the public inquiry is leaving the congested route in a “catch 22” situation.

Mr Bridge, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, has been a long-term campaigner for improvements to the A14 and has today (Monday) renewed calls for Mike Penning MP, the under-secretary of state for transport, to reinstate the process that he claims will result in a viable scheme being put on the table.

Mr Bridge, said: “The minister has written once again and told us that the region needs the private sector to provide funding for any proposed scheme. However we have no scheme that a private sector organisation can consider for funding and he will not reinstate the public inquiry which will give us a tangible scheme.

“Here we have the Department for Transport once again confirming in writing that they believe ‘mobility’ along the A14 to be critical for economic success an growth. I think we’ve all come to terms with the government’s refusal to invest in this key section of our region’s infrastructure but what I can’t believe is that they are continuing to hamper growth by refusing to reinstate the public inquiry and therefore further delaying any sort of progress being made.

“Regrettably we don’t seem to be getting anywhere, except back to a talking shop where the government’s refusing to stock the shelves.

“The business community don’t care who pays for what, they just want action. They need to know that their staff are going to be at their desks on time, their deliveries are going to meet their contractual deadlines and that supplies can get through, when they need them. Right now, would a business consider locating in Cambridgeshire when gridlock on such a key through-route is making the traffic news on national radio on an almost daily basis?”

A recent survey of senior business decision-makers in the East showed that 75 per cent of respondents agreeing that the key road network needs significant investment and improvement in the near future.

The minister’s response to John Bridge’s letter of February 7 had to be re-sent after the letter the Department for Transport claimed to have sent on March 1 never arrived.

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