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MPs tell PM: we need to sort out A14 tolls

  • 11 November 2013
  • By Chris Tindall

Suffolk MPs met the prime minister last week as concerns over the A14 tolling proposals continue to increase.

Conservative MPs, including Tim Yeo and Therese Coffey, told David Cameron that companies were alarmed by the improvement scheme being singled out for a charge and the lack of viable alternative roads.

“There is an urgent need for improvements to the A14 but the proposal in its current form, whereby lorries will have no alternative route available, is not acceptable,” said Yeo.

“We will continue to press this point on behalf of Suffolk residents and businesses with the secretary of state for transport, the Treasury and the Highways Agency.”

However, Labour councillors said the Tories and LibDems had let down people in Suffolk last week after they voted in favour of contributing £1m towards funding the tolling scheme.

“It is clearly right that nationally important infrastructure schemes should be paid for by the national government,” said county councillor Sandy Martin.

The Highways Agency said it received more than 800 responses to its A14 consultation and that its preferred route, along which a toll has been suggested, would be confirmed before the end of the year.

With an estimated one in 10 jobs in Suffolk directly dependent on Felixstowe port, and heavy reliance on the A14 as the major east/ west route in England, operators in the county have been particularly vocal in their opposition to the proposed plan.

“It isn’t good news for anyone, not just hauliers,” said Paul Dawson, MD at Deben Transport. “I think it will cause a lot of hardship. Shipping lines, for example, will look at alternatives.”

The Road Haulage Association launched a campaign opposing the proposed plans in September. The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has also launched its own No Toll Tax On Suffolk campaign.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/mps-tell-pm-we-need-to-sort-out-a14-tolls