The Secretary of State for Transport today formally responded to the A14 petition that Therese presented to Parliament lastmonth calling on the Government to withdraw plans for tolling. Last Wednesday the Government confirmed that the tolling element of the A14 upgrade would be droppped and the response to the petition outlines that they have listened to residents concerns. Please see below for the formal response:
A14 Road Improvement and Financing:
The Petition of the people of Suffolk Coastal and the wider Suffolk area,
Declares that the planned road improvements on the A14, a key route connecting the Midlands with the UK's leading container port of Felixstowe and designated as a Trans-European Transport Network, will be welcomed by most users of the A14, particularly by residents in Cambridgeshire, and is expected to reduce congestion on this key route for commuters and businesses alike; further declares that this is one of several major road improvements proposed by Her Majesty's Government though notes that this is the only road improvement scheme proposed to be partially financed by a toll; further declares the concerns of the petitioners that this will have a detrimental effect on the economy of Suffolk.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to remove the planned requirement to toll vehicles on the A14.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Dr Thérèse Coffey , Official Report, 8 November 2013; Vol. 570, c. 608.]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:
The Highways Agency recognises the vital link of the A14 in the Trans-European Network and to the national and local economy. In developing the proposals for A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme the Government considered tolling as an option. A recent public consultation exercise was undertaken to consider the route options for the A14 scheme and the impact of proposals to introduce road-user tolls on part of the route.
The Government have listened to the concerns of business leaders and communities in the region centring around the impact of tolling on local competitiveness and congestion on less-suitable un-tolled alternative routes, and has decided not to introduce tolls on the A14.
The Highways Agency are currently producing a consultation report which will be published later this month on:
The views received from this consultation will then be used to support the further development of the scheme design with the next stage being the publication of a Preferred Route Announcement early next year.
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