Ruffley's A14 investigation: New House of Commons figures show underinvestment in Suffolk road safety

Tuesday, 24 October, 2006

David Ruffley MP is currently investigating the state of road safety on Suffolk's major trunk road, the A14.

Concerned by the lack of information available, David has tabled 14 House of Commons questions to the Secretary of State for Transport and submitted a number of Freedom of Information requests to County Councils and Police Forces across the Eastern region.

Today David has released House of Commons figures, given in answer to his questioning of Stephen Ladyman, Minister of State for Transport, that show Suffolk has received the lowest allocation of central government funding of all the counties in the East of England, apart from Bedfordshire, for the year 2006/07.

12 serious accidents have occurred on the A14 in the last two months.

David said:

'I launched my investigation into the state of road safety on the A14 in the light of the dreadful series of accidents we have seen over the past two months.

'The first response I have received from the Government reveals that there has been, and there continues to be, huge underinvestment in road safety in Suffolk.

'These new House of Commons figures show that aside from Bedfordshire, which is a county under half the size of Suffolk, our county receives the lowest integrated transport block funding in the East of England.

'The Minister tells me that typically a quarter of this block funding is spent on road safety schemes but the exact allocation is a matter for the County Council.

'It seems staggering to me that Suffolk received over £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.

'I am continuing my investigation into the state of our County's major trunk road and will be leading the charge to see Suffolk receive the investment and road infrastructure its residents and businesses deserve.

'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.'