MP takes A14 fight to the Treasury

HAVING been snubbed by the Department for Transport ‘for legal reasons’, Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has turned his A14 guns on Her Majesty’s Treasury.

HAVING been snubbed by the Department for Transport ‘for legal reasons’, Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has turned his A14 guns on Her Majesty’s Treasury.

He has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to demand a meeting for all Cambridgeshire MPs and the leaders of the county council and the five Cambridgeshire district councils.

Mr Djanogly had asked for a meeting with Transport Ministers to voice concerns that the �1.2billion upgrade of the A14 – which is supported by all the county’s MPs except Cambridge’s Julian Huppert and all the county’s councils apart from Cambridge city – has again been delayed while the Government carries out its comprehensive spending review.

But he was told that “they cannot be seen to have been influenced one way or another” and were therefore “not allowed to meet anyone to discuss this road”.

“They said they were in a semi-judicial situation,” Mr Djanogly told The Hunts Post. “But they know perfectly well what my views are from informal contacts.

“Now I’m asking for a meeting with the Chancellor or the Chief Secretary [the Treasury has two cabinet ministers, Mr Osborne and Danny Alexander]. Whether I see them or not, there’s no question about their knowing that the A14 is the number one infrastructure priority, and we’re not dropping it as an issue. We want to keep it in the forefront of the Government’s mind.”

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The MP and business leaders are pressing Ministers to reinstate the project as fundamental to greater Cambridge’s role as a leading power-house for economic recovery.

“If we [all the MPs and council leaders] had all sat in a room with them, it would have reinforced the strength of feeling that they’re already aware of,” Mr Djanogly said.

Meanwhile, business leaders have urged firms and individuals to write to the Government to express their support for the project.

Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce is calling on ‘everyone affected by the road’s inadequacies’ to write to the relevant ministers to outline the difficulties that the incapacity of the A14 causes on a regular basis.

Chief executive John Bridge said: “The situation we now find ourselves in, where local MPs are told they’re ‘not allowed’ to represent their constituents’ concerns to the relevant government departments, is ludicrous.

“This project is a key component of our region’s economic capabilities, and investment in its upgrade is crucial not just for Cambridgeshire but the surrounding region, The A14 simply can’t cope with demand as it is, yet still the Treasury is looking to the Eastern region’s economy to continue to make its positive contribution to the exchequer.

“Businesses, not just in Cambridgeshire but across the region, are being put at risk by the inadequacies of our infrastructure, and what we so desperately need is a sensible and co-ordinated, strategic approach to investment that will enable the region to remain one of the three most productive areas in UK,” he added.

“The renewal of transport infrastructure simply must continue if we are to create jobs and wealth, even in the face of the toughest public spending climate in decades.

“The public inquiry into the proposed upgrade may have been shelved, but the Government’s refusal even to discuss the project with our elected representatives would strongly suggest that they are oblivious to the gravity of the situation.”

The chamber has published on its website a letter that it is urging local businesses and individuals to send to a number of Government officials to emphasise the importance of the A14 upgrade.

INFORMATION: The letter can be downloaded from