Plans for A14 upgrade 'internationally significant'

Traffic queues on A14 near Bury St Emdunds Image copyright John Goldsmith/Geograph
Image caption Business leaders said there were seven "pinch points" of slow traffic on the A14 in Suffolk, including Bury St Edmunds (pictured)

Improvements to the A14 are needed to "get the economy going" nationally as well as in Suffolk, it has been claimed.

Public leaders in the county agreed to continue lobbying the government at a meeting on Friday.

The No More A14 Delays in Suffolk campaign has been putting the case for major investment in the A14 since 2015.

Suffolk's Chamber of Commerce it would be "a very good step forward" if the road was upgraded to an expressway.

Highways England describes expressways as upgraded A-roads designed to be "motorway standard", such as the A1(M).

'International significance'

Stretches would be designated the A14(M) where motorway restrictions would be introduced and no slow-moving agricultural machines could use it.

Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "We have got to do everything we possibly can to keep the A14 going - it's of international significance as well as at home."

Image copyright Suffolk Chamber of Commerce
Image caption Nick Burfield from Suffolk's Chamber of Commerce said upgrading the A14 "would be a very good step forward"

Council leaders, chief executives and other civic leaders came together for Friday's Suffolk Public Sector Leaders meeting.

They said the A14's link from the Port of Felixstowe to the Midlands made it "vital for investment".

The meeting agreed to fund £20,000 to continue supporting the campaign, which the Chamber started three years ago.

'Pinch points'

In December, Highways England published its Strategic Road Network report which set out an intention to turn the A14 into an expressway.

The seven pinch points, where traffic movement is at its slowest, include junctions 55 to 58, around Ipswich.

Problem areas also include at Exning where the A14 meets the A142, and junctions 43 and 44 for Bury St Edmunds, the meeting heard.

Nick Burfield, from the Chamber, said: "We have just had the Highways England report which suggests the A14 in Suffolk as a potential expressway, and I think that's a very good step forward."

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