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MP labels A14 toll plans as unfair to Suffolk businesses

  • 03 December 2013
  • By Chris Tindall

The A14 toll road plans are “highly wrong” and will push shipping trade to as far afield as Southampton, according to Bury St Edmunds Conservative MP David Ruffley.

Ruffley’s comments came after he demanded the prime minister to reconsider the proposals due to the competitive disadvantage it would have on Suffolk businesses.

In a House of Commons debate, prime minister David Cameron said: “The idea of having tolling for some new roads and new schemes is properly worth looking at, but we will listen carefully to colleagues and people in Suffolk, and businesses in Suffolk too.”

Ruffley told Commercialmotor.com the A14 toll would be a ‘poll tax’ on hauliers in the North West and the Midlands travelling to Felixstowe port.

“LGVs will have two options: one is use the toll or take a massive, 12-mile-plus detour to avoid the toll,” he said. “What LGVs will not be allowed to do is use the existing A14, which will be de-trunked. Suffolk is being used as a guinea pig. It is highly wrong.”

Ruffley explained that logistics firms had warned him that shipping lines would move business away from the port, and added: “Even Southampton thinks it will be getting a slice of the business if the toll goes ahead.”

He said a decision on the road is expected to be made before Christmas.

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council leader George Nobbs has tabled a motion for the council to oppose the introduction of tolling on the A14, as well as on the A47, which the government said in September was a priority for an upgrade.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/mp-labels-a14-toll-plans-as-unfair-to-suffolk-businesses