COLUMN: Dr Dan Poulter MP– ‘Improving road and rail in Suffolk vital for communities and economy’

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter

Improving our road and rail infrastructure here in Suffolk is something which is vital for our local communities, but equally critical in ensuring that our vibrant economy continues to grow.

There have been a number of road and rail improvement schemes which have been delivered in Suffolk already over recent months, with more in the pipeline, thanks to the collective efforts of our local councils and my parliamentary colleagues working together to ensure that Suffolk is at the forefront when it comes to receiving government cash.

A great many businesses are attracted to invest here in Suffolk on the strength of our strong transport and infrastructure links, with roads such as the A14, A12 and A140 being key routes

Aside from our local councils, I also work closely with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to push for improvements to our transport infrastructure, to ensure that the needs of our local business community are also recognised.

Our transport infrastructure must be fit for purpose and our road and rail networks here in Suffolk are vital economic routes for the wider East of England region.

A great many businesses are attracted to invest here in Suffolk on the strength of our strong transport and infrastructure links, with roads such as the A14, A12 and A140 being key routes.

Indeed, Mid Suffolk Business Park, located adjacent to the former site of Eye Airfield, plays host to a number of haulage and light industrial businesses who have been attracted to the area by the strong transport and infrastructure links, in particular the ease of access to our adjoining major road networks.

The main access to the industrial park is via an incredibly busy junction and the flow of traffic is all too regularly slowed or halted by vehicles attempting to enter or leave the site, prompting safety concerns from local road users.

I am therefore delighted that the Department for Transport announced £3.75 million funding to deliver improvements to the A140 near Eye Airfield.

This was the result of a bid submitted by Suffolk County Council and backed by me, as I have long been campaigning for improvements to this vital stretch of road.

The A140 is the key route between Ipswich and Norwich, but it also carries through traffic from the Midlands and from the Port of Felixstowe, linking directly with the A14.

As well as improving access, this funding boost will also help to improve road safety, although it still concerns me that a number of motorists are still willing to take unnecessary risks and put lives in danger through continued reckless and dangerous driving on our county’s roads.

The faster a vehicle is travelling, the less time the driver has to react to an unexpected situation and, sadly, the consequences can be fatal.

Speed limits are there for a reason, with the limits being set at the maximum speed which is deemed safe to drive on a particular stretch of road.

Despite sustained campaigning and raising awareness of the risks posed by speeding drivers, they continue to risk not only their own lives, but also the lives of fellow road users.

Speeding traffic is not just contained to rural roads and road safety is hugely important in north Ipswich.

As we find ourselves already approaching the shorter days and longer nights of autumn and with increased risk of treacherous conditions in winter, I would like to urge drivers to slow down, consider other road users and take a moment to think of the consequences of speeding.