Poor funding for Suffolk's roads

Tuesday, 24 October, 2006

SUFFOLK'S roads are the second worst funded in the East of England when it comes to road safety, new figures have revealed.
For the current financial year Suffolk is getting £7.58million from central government in 'integrated transport block funding'.
However Essex has received £13.3million, Hertfordshire £11.4million and Norfolk £11million.
Out of the six counties that make up the East of England only Bedfordshire, with £3.6million fares worse than Suffolk.
Traditionally around a quarter of the funding goes on road safety but the exact figure is determined by county councils.
The figures were released after Suffolk MP David Ruffley tabled a series of parliamentary questions and Freedom of Information requests to police forces and county councils.
Mr Ruffley, MP for Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds, has blasted government for the apparent 'underinvestment'.
There have been more than a dozen serious accidents on the A14 alone in the past two months and The Evening Star has long campaigned for improvements to the road.
In many cases gridlock can occur in Ipswich as traffic tries to find an alternative route and the A14 can sometimes be closed for several hours following a crash.
Mr Ruffley said: 'These new House of Commons figures show that aside from Bedfordshire, a county less than half the size of Suffolk, our county receives the lowest integrated transport block funding in the East of England.
'It seems staggering to me that Suffolk received more than £3 million less in 2006/07 than Norfolk.
'That is roughly £3 less per head of the population.
'With such appalling support from this Government it is little wonder that we are experiencing such a blight of accidents on the A14.'
Mr Ruffley vowed to continue his investigation and said he would be leading the charge to see Suffolk receive the investment deserved by its residents and businesses.
He said: 'I will be taking the matter up in detail with the Transport Minister, Douglas Alexander, and demanding that action is taken in the areas of concern,' he added.