A campaign has been launched to build a fully-dualled A1307 to connect Haverhill to the region’s major road network and bring a potential extra £360 million to Suffolk’s economy.
The launch of the campaign in the boardroom of Culina Logistics in Haverhill on Friday stressed the importance of completing the project and its economic benefits to Haverhill and the wider region were made clear.
Paul Donno, chairman of Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, said: “Haverhill is at the forefront of our local economic growth. To maximise our growth, an infrastructure that’s fit for purpose to accommodate the growth needs to be in place.
“Key to this is the urgent dualling of one of the most significant roads in Suffolk, the A1307.
“This road is the major road connecting Haverhill to the main UK road network.”
Haverhill Chamber of Commerce is joining forces, added Mr Donno, with the Suffolk Chamber and other partners, including Cambridge and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), New Anglia LEP, West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, Haverhill Town Council, ONE Haverhill and the county councils of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire – to lobby “decision-makers in Westminster” to have the A1307 dualled as a “key priority” and make the scheme a main part of their spending programme.
Mr Donno added: “It will add £360 million gross value to our economy and largely help to bring 8,000 new jobs.
“The A1307 from Haverhill to the A11 is a critical piece of infrastructure no longer fit for purpose, and its upgrading is a key pillar in the 4,000 new homes that will be built in the west of Suffolk.”
Campaigners say a new A1307 built to the north of the current route would be shorter and cause minimal disruption during construction. It would bypass the villages of Linton and Great Abington while minimising costs.
The result, they believe, would benefit the area both economically and socially.
Mr Hancock told those at the launch that a map of the region shows Haverhill in the centre of a loop of key roads like the A11 and M11 to the west, the A14 to the north, the A120 to the south and the A134 and A131 to the east.
Having a completely dualled A1307 would mean a quicker and safer connection to those primary routes, added Mr Hancock.
He went on to say: “I think this project can not only benefit Haverhill but a series of villages in Cambridgeshire.
“Finding money for a project like this is not easy and we need to work with central government and local government, and the LEPs to try and find the funding that’s necessary.”
Nikos Savvas, principal of West Suffolk College and board director of New Anglia LEP, told the meeting that improving the infrastructure would bring economic prosperity.
He said: “Our modern economy needs and deserves excellent infrastructure, so we can compete on the national and international stages.
“We can already see the benefits that a fully-dualled A11 has brought to business and the local economy.
“Now we must do the same for the A1307.
“The A1307 is real enterprise highway for two-way traffic between Haverhill and Cambridge.
“The LEP wants to help lead this important campaign as it has for other road and rail investments.
“We want to help make this a safer and more reliable route.”