Back row: James Cartlidge, Dr Dan Poulter and Peter Aldous. Front row: Dr Therese Coffey, Tom Hunt, Matt Hancock and Jo Churchill. Picture: ELAINE BRYCE
The notorious Copdock Mill roundabout should be replaced by a new junction between the A14 and A12 – and drivers should be able to use a dual carriageway all the way from east Suffolk to Stansted Airport via Braintree. But they will have to wait at least 10 years.
The two projects have been included in Highways England's new document looking ahead at the road improvements it wants to make - but work will not start for at least five years.
They are included in a list of projects that will be developed over the next five years of its Road Improvement Strategy (RIS2) and will be built during the following five years.
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge welcomed the news about Copdock, which is in his constituency: 'This is what we were looking for. There is no final commitment, but all major projects start at this stage - and major road developments do take many years to bring through.'
Suffolk Coastal MP and cabinet minister Dr Therese Coffey added: 'This is great news for our part of Suffolk. All seven Suffolk MPs pressed the case on improvements on the Copdock Roundabout. This announcement shows that our collective lobbying on behalf of residents has paid off.
'Thanks too to the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce for all they have done to highlight the problem.'
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter said he understood the Prime Minister had taken a personal interest in the A14 after its problems were raised by us during a visit to Suffolk during the general election campaign.
Mark Pendlington, who led Suffolk Chamber's campaign, said: 'Our popular campaign to upgrade the local stretch of Britain's Premier Trade Route has been aimed at allowing the county to make an even greater contribution to national and regional prosperity.
'We are, therefore, pleased that there is a commitment to look at the detailed development of Copdock as part of the RIS3 pipeline. However, we will continue to press for improvements to all of the pinch points along the A14 in Suffolk, to ensure that our county benefits as much as other regions included in today's Budget.'
Meanwhile Essex County Council has been pressing for the upgrade of the A120 from Rivenhall to Braintree to provide a through dual carriageway from the A12 to Stansted Airport - and that should now also be completed between 2025 and 2030.
Published by the East Anglian Daily Times.