Suffolk MPs press David Cameron over A14 toll concerns

Suffolk MPs meet with Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss plans for a toll road on part of the A14
Suffolk MPs meet with Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss plans for a toll road on part of the A14

Suffolk MPs have voiced their concerns to Prime Minister David Cameron over plans for a toll road on part of the A14.

The group of six including Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley and West Suffolk’s Matthew Hancock argued that it was unfair that Suffolk motorists would be charged to fund improvements that will largerly benefit Huntingdon and Cambridge.

The Government plans to toll a section of new road between the Ellington and Swavesey junctions - to the south of Huntingdon- with potential charges between £1 and £1.50 for cars and about £3 for heavy goods vehicles.

It is part of an overall £1.5 billion scheme designed to relieve congestion between Huntingdon and Cambridge.

Mr Ruffley said they warned the Prime Minister on Wednesday that heavy goods vehicles won’t be able to use the existing A14 when it is detrunked through Huntingdon.

They predicted ‘snarl ups’ in the Brampton area as a bridge would be demolished.

Mr Ruffley said: “The final point we made was that Suffolk and Cambridge will be the only two counties subject to this enforced compulsory toll.

“There’s another toll on the M6 but that’s purely voluntary. “

The group of MPs also stressed the potential negative economic impacts on Suffolk to Mr Cameron.

Mr Ruffley said Suffolk road users ‘will be paying essentially to leverage a congestion problem’ elsewhere.

He said: “Essentially we don’t have any problem with a Cambridge relief road. We do have a problem that the toll is going to be largerly at Suffolk’s expense. We’re paying for a road that will benefit Huntingdon and Cambridge. Suffolk car users don’t see that as fair.”

Mr Cameron will ‘reflect’ on the matter, according to Mr Ruffley.

He said they will know if their campaigning against the toll has been successful before the end of the year.

Matthew Hancock added: “The views of groups from Suffolk need to be taken seriously and Suffolk’s MPs are making sure these views are heard in Government.”

If the plans were to be given the go-ahead, work would start by the end of 2016 and construction is expected to take between three and four years.