No More A14 Delays in Suffolk
Following the success of the Suffolk Chamber-led partnership campaign 'No Toll Tax on Suffolk', opposing the introduction of tolling to fund the proposed A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvements, Suffolk Chamber's Transport and Infrastructure Board (TIB) reflected recently on the other pinch points along the Suffolk stretch of the A14 that also constrain business.
There are many, including the Orwell Bridge, the Ransomes Europark and Copdock interchanges and the junctions at Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket. The concern of the TIB and our partners is that the planned A14 improvements will encourage the Government and Highways Agency to consider the A14 'done' and give these other sections a lower priority than they merit.
We have therefore agreed to lead a 'whole A14' campaign on behalf of businesses, Suffolk County Council, the other local authorities, New Anglia LEP and our other business voice partners, to present an integrated case in the run up to and following on from the May elections.
The A14 connects Suffolk’s businesses and many of its towns and villages and is their gateway to UK, European, and world markets. Many businesses rely on the fast, efficient movement of goods along the A14 but parts of it are holding them back.
The A14 – vital for businesses in:
- Home of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, handling 40% of its container trade
- 70% of the cargo going through the Port of Felixstowe uses the A14
- 42,500 jobs in Suffolk are related to the Port – 10% of the county’s workforce
- Home to BT and other employers in the ICT sector at Adastral Park, Martlesham
- Connects, via the A12, to Suffolk’s Energy Coast which hosts EDF Energy at Sizewell as well as the Offshore wind farms of East Anglia, Greater Gabbard, and Galloper
- Has major employers in the insurance sector including Axa and Willis
- Hosts key companies in the energy sector including Haven Power and UK Power Networks
- Is a strategic centre for shipping and freight distribution companies including Mediterranean Shipping Company (UK) Ltd
- The A14 links people all over Suffolk to key public services like Ipswich Hospital
- Home to University Campus Suffolk and two other Further Education Centres
- Stowmarket hosts significant businesses in the food and drink sector including Muntons PLC and 3663 Foods, and has many distribution companies. It also has a strong manufacturing base with companies like Bosch and Akzo Nobel
- The A140, A134 and A143 run through Mid-Suffolk and can all be accessed from the A14. These roads link motorists to Norwich and Lowestoft and the Waveney Valley, Sudbury and Haverhill
- Home to Bury St. Edmunds, which contains the headquarters of Greene King and one of British Sugar’s main processing plants, as well as a wide range of local and national retailers, pubs and restaurants
- Bury St. Edmunds is also a location for key public services like West Suffolk Hospital and West Suffolk College
- Haverhill, which people access from the A14 and A143, is developing its own scientific research park in the northern part of the town
- Newmarket, which people access via the A14 and A142, is home to Suffolk’s globally renowned horseracing industry
To launch the campaign, we prepared a leaflet with maps, schematics and key data to underline the economic and business case for further improvements and we will use this as the centrepiece for a campaign.
This leaflet explains the importance of the road to the UK economy and describes the trunk-road improvements that are needed so that the number of jobs and homes forecast within Suffolk over the next 15-20 years can be delivered and businesses can flourish.
The A14: Vital for the local and national economy leaflet can be downloaded below:
What business users in Suffolk think about the A14:
"Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is a world leader in global shipping with a team of over 400 people based at its UK headquarters in Ipswich. The proud winners of the customer voted ‘Container Line of the Year’ Award at the 2014 Global Freight Awards, MSC consistently delivers excellent customer service. As a leading local employer MSC depends on a free-flowing A14 to enable easy access to its 400 team members and to deliver its award winning service to its customers across the UK."
Paul Garnham, General Manager Intermodal, Mediterranean Shipping Company (UK) Ltd
"Our main concern with the A14 is to ensure reliable journey times for our bulk chemical deliveries which we rely on for our manufacturing processes. Many of these come from distributors and manufacturers located in the North West and North East of the UK so the A14 is a vital lifeline for the site."
Nicholas Hodgson, Head of Engineering and HSE, Sanofi
"Newmarket is the historic ‘Home of Racing’ and a magnet for the sport worldwide. The town and the area offer a treasure trove of sights and attractions, including the racecourses at The Rowley Mile and The July Course, 65 stud farms, the National Horseracing Museum, The National Stud and the British Racing School. We are a global brand and rely on excellent road connectivity."
Amy Starkey, Managing Director, Newmarket Racecourses
"As an SME manufacturer based in Suffolk, we rely heavily on the A14 as the primary transportation route for raw materials coming to our factory and finished goods getting to our customers. Delays add to our operational costs and disadvantage our business against competitors elsewhere in the country. We see the cumulative impact of delays as a penalty that has a detrimental effect on our ability to compete both in the UK and internationally."
Graham Burchell, Managing Director, Challs International Ltd
"Haldo would like to see permanent solutions to the causes of congestion on the A14 and especially the stretch in Suffolk: one of the few counties in the country not to have a motorway, but a dual carriageway with minimal or non-existent hard shoulders. New innovations are needed, for example: a proper hard shoulder; fewer traffic lights and perhaps ‘shared space’ on the approach roads so that we can aim to have a safer, free-flowing A14."
Rick Wildridge, Chairman, Haldo Developments Ltd
"With roots reaching back 70 years in Bury St Edmunds but with skills and technology at the forefront of the specialist printing industry, Denny Bros understands what businesses need to thrive. One priority is good road connectivity and we need to see improvements to the main junctions and access routes into and out of the town, which often create gridlock and dangerous back-ups onto the main A14 carriageway."
Andrew Denny, Strategic Development Director, Denny Bros
"Century Logistics is a leading provider of cost effective and innovative warehouse and logistics solutions with a proven track record of helping UK, European and Global companies deliver each and every day to their retailers and consumers. We help our clients to manage costs, support customers and generate additional revenues. To keep growing and investing we need an end to delays and congestion along the A14."
Stephen Basey-Fisher, Century Logistics
"The A14 is a critical section of our Suffolk infrastructure with importance both locally and nationally. With this in mind Suffolk Chamber and Suffolk County Council have embarked on a campaign to raise and maintain the profile of the A14 with Central Government. Our aim of securing immediate and ongoing investment in this highway will be good for both Suffolk and UK plc."
Stephen Britt, Managing Director, Anchor Storage Ltd and Chairman, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce Transport and Infrastructure Board
"The A14 is one of the UK’s most important enterprise corridors, linking Britain’s biggest container port at Felixstowe with the rest of the UK and keeping the east mobile and accessible to world sectors and markets, many of which are located and investing in Suffolk and Norfolk."
Mark Pendlington, Group Director, Anglian Water and Chairman, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership
"We employ over 500 members of staff so when problems occur on the A14, especially around the Orwell Bridge or Junction 57, the result is gridlock on the Europark, which creates havoc for us and our staff bear the brunt of not getting in or out with the knock on effect to childcare issues. Then you must add the fact that things are only going to get worse when further development occurs unless the problems with the A14 are resolved."
William Catchpole, Chief Executive Officer, IPPlus PLC
"The A14, for the greater part, is a two lane road that needs a hard shoulder, it has dangerous lay-bys. In reality, with Felixstowe as its focus, making the A14 fit for purpose is as important to the UK economy as HS2 and patching bits along the route is not the solution."
Chris Soule, FSB Suffolk Chairman
"The Port of Felixstowe is the country’s largest container port handling 4 million + TEUs pa and supporting 30,000 jobs, 1 in 10 of all jobs in Suffolk. The Port Users’ Association represents shipping lines, freight forwarders, hauliers, warehouse keepers and port related services all of whom are convinced of the Port’s capacity to contribute yet more to jobs and growth, in Suffolk and for UK plc, if its road connectivity can be improved."
Simon Fraser, Chairman, Felixstowe Port Users' Association
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