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 Roads and Transport, Cllr Sandra Gage, has submitted a motion to be heard at full council on the 24th October, seconded by Labour leader on Suffolk County Council Cllr Sandy Martin, calling on the County Council to withdraw its £1million pound offer.
At the County’s Cabinet meeting on the 9th July Conservative 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 Labour Group 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of £1 million pounds support to the government project unless and until the proposal to impose tolls on this road is rescinded.”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 Sandy Martin said “£1 million sounds like a lot of money, but it is less than 1 thousandth of the overall cost of the scheme. I cannot believe the government would base a decision on whether or not to build a new section of the country’s most important freight route on whether or not they were likely to get £1 million from SCC. But I can believe that, by revoking the decision to support the plan with £1 million of local taxpayers’ money, the County Council can finally get through to this government just how unpopular the proposed tolls would be.”
For more information contact: Cllr Sandy Martin, Labour leader on Suffolk County Council
Tel: 07545 423802
Notes to editors
Cabinet papers: http://committeeminutes.suffolkcc.gov.uk/meeting.aspx?d=09/Jul/2013&c=The Cabinet