MP's anger at Suffolk roads funding

Monday, 30 October, 2006

AN MP has called for urgent improvements to one of Suffolk's busiest roads, which he claims has become an 'embarrassment' to the county.

David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said drivers using the A14 were having to put up with 'near third world motoring conditions'.

He called for urgent safety measures, particularly after discovering Suffolk has the second lowest level of funding in the east of England from central Government, behind Bedfordshire.

Latest Government figures also show that more than 3,000 people are injured on the county's roads each year - amounting to 58 a week.

'The A14 is not an 'A' road, it is becoming a joke road,' he said. 'The people of Suffolk deserve a first-class road infrastructure and should not have to put up with near third world motoring conditions.
'With such appalling support from the Government, it is little wonder we are experiencing such a blight of accidents on the A14.'

Between 2000 and 2006, there have been 254 lane closures and 36 total carriageway closures on the A14 in Suffolk due to road accidents, and a further 2,629 lane closures and 111 total carriageway closures due to routine maintenance on the road.

'None of the A14 around Bury St Edmunds is covered by overhead lighting, despite the fact that well over 40,000 vehicles use that section of the road on a daily basis,' said Mr Ruffley.

'The A14 in Suffolk is becoming an embarrassment to our county and urgent action is required.'
Earlier this month, the A14 was brought to a standstill after two lorries collided along the eastbound carriageway just outside Bury. And in the previous week, the road was closed for more than seven hours after a car collided with a lorry, causing gridlock for thousands of motorists who were diverted through Bury town centre.

A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency said the A14 was continually monitored and maintained.
'In the current financial year, about £1.1 million has already been spent on maintenance on the A14 between Cambridge and Felixstowe,' she said. 'In addition, in March of this year, the £12million Rookery Crossroads was opened.'