The Labour Group on Suffolk County Council are calling on the Council to withhold the £1million contribution from Council reserves to the Department for Transport ‘A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement project’ as it is now clear that the proposed new A14 at Huntingdon will be a toll road.
Labour opposition spokesperson for Road and Transport, Cllr Sandra Gage, has submitted a motion to be heard at full council on the 24th October calling on the County Council to withdraw its £1million pound offer.
At the County’s Cabinet meeting on the 9th July councillors agreed to give the £1million to ensure that the much needed improvements to the A14 went ahead. In the paper agreed by cabinet the imposition of tolling was called an ‘additional burden’ and would put Suffolk businesses at a ‘competitive disadvantage’.
The motion reads:
“The County Council Cabinet paper of 9 July 2013 suggests that confirmation of the £1 million contribution from Suffolk County Council to the A14 Cambridge to Huntington project be conditional on provision of a toll free alternative route accessible to HGV’s and other traffic. As it is now clear that no such route is to be provided, this Council calls on the administration to withdraw the offer of £1 million pounds support to the government project unless and until the proposal to impose tolls on this road is rescinded.”
Cllr Gage said “The A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge has long needed significant improvement, to relieve congestion. As the only trunk road between Suffolk, Felixstowe port and the majority of the UK, the A14 is a vital link for the county’s economy and population. The proposal to charge businesses and Suffolk residents to travel inland beyond the county boundary is unacceptable. Unlike the M6 Toll road, there are no reasonable alternative routes available and with 85,000 vehicles using the road each day it would be absurd to encourage rat-running”.
Cllr Gage added, “We don’t think Suffolk residents and businesses should be forced to fund the access to Suffolk through tolling, so we call on the administration to withdraw the offer of the £1m until this tax on Suffolk is stopped.”
For more information contact: Cllr Sandra Gage, Opposition Spokesperson for Roads and Transport
Notes to editors
Cabinet papers: http://committeeminutes.suffolkcc.gov.uk/meeting.aspx?d=09/Jul/2013&c=The Cabinet