“Into the final straight” for A14 campaign
The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce-led initiative to address seven pinch points along the A14 in Suffolk is making one final push to secure much-needed government investment.
The No More A14 Delays in Suffolk campaign has the backing of many partners including businesses, all of the county’s MPs and local authorities, and New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEPs.
Guided by a Strategy Board, which is chaired by Jo Churchill MP, the campaign has pulled together compelling in-depth evidence to show why the pinch points need to be included in the second Roads Investment Strategy (RIS2) which will cover the period from 2020 to 2025.
The seven pinch points in question are:
Junction 37 (Exning) where the A14 meets the busy A142
Junction 43 (Bury St. Edmunds - Central) which suffers from significant tailbacks as it meets the A134
Junction 44 (Bury St Edmunds - Moreton Hall) which suffers from significant tailbacks, with a major development still to be built
Junction 55 (Copdock Interchange) where the A14 meets the busy A12 and A1214
Junction 56 (Ipswich - Wherstead) which reaches its safe capacity at peak times, especially with HGVs
Junction 57 (Ipswich - Ransomes Europark) which reaches its safe capacity at peak times, especially with HGVs
Junction 58 (Ipswich - Seven Hills) where the A14 meets the busy A12
Aside from alleviating the real costs of delays and congestion at these points, this investment would contribute to a massive increase in key economic indicators – of real benefit to the local and national economy:
7000 new jobs
£362m extra in Gross Value Added
Average of 13 minutes a day saved in travel time
According to Suffolk Chamber policy director Nick Burfield “the A14 is not just of vital importance to the Suffolk economy. It is also a major contributor to the whole country’s wealth, carrying 70% of the goods shipped through the Port of Felixstowe, much of it headed for the Northern Powerhouse or the Midlands Engine.
“We are in the final straight of our campaign to make the A14 fit for the purposes of the twenty first century.”
Evidence has been submitted to Highways England, the government-owned company with responsibility for the operation, maintenance and improvement of the motorways and trunk roads in England.
On 15 September, the Strategy Board is due to meet with representatives of both Highways England and the Department for Transport.
“We will be trying to find out their initial thoughts on our evidence and looking to further back up our claims that the A14 in Suffolk should be included in RIS2,” added Nick.
Their Strategic Road Network Initial Report will be published in the autumn of 2017 and is expected to provide a long list of those projects that have met the basic criteria for further evaluation.
The Department of Transport will then engage in consulting with the public in 2018 before a final decision is made.
The No More A14 Delays in Suffolk campaign still needs further up-to-date information about this highway’s congestion problems – and their impact – on businesses and workers.