The A120 campaign hosted its Westminster Parliamentary Reception last night (Wednesday 18th January 2017) in the company of over 170 business supporters and the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP, the Minister responsible for national roads. The Reception was co-hosted with 5 of the region’s MPs: James Cartlidge MP (South Suffolk), James Cleverly MP (Braintree), Sir Alan Haselhurst MP (Saffron Walden), Bernard Jenkin MP (Harwich and North Essex) and Will Quince MP (Colchester).
The Reception marked the opening on Tuesday 17th January of a formal consultation into preferred route options for a new dual carriageway A120 between Braintree and the A12 Expressway. Last night’s event follows similarly successful events with local MPs in recent months in Braintree, Colchester, Harwich, South Suffolk and Stansted in the run up to the consultation.
In addition to a welcome by Will Quince MP (Colchester), last night’s Reception featured speeches by James Cleverly MP (Braintree), Andrew Cowan (Chief Executive, Stansted Airport) and Cllr Kevin Bentley (Deputy Leader, Essex County Council). Haven Gateway Chairman George Kieffer paid tribute to Essex County Council and Cllr Rodney Bass, former Cabinet Member for Highways & Transportation, and Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader for their unflinching support for the campaign. At the conclusion he handed a petition of over 500 local businesses to the Minister, calling on the Government to back investment in the A120 as soon as possible. The Minister responded with a key note address and concluded by vowing to act as the champion within central government for Essex and the A120.
George Kieffer, Chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership, commented:
“Last night’s Reception was an incredibly united and strong show of support by our region’s businesses, Members of Parliament and Local Authority Leaders. We are grateful to the Rt Hon John Hayes for delivering his keynote address during which he undertook to be the advocate for the long-awaited improvements.. Notwithstanding the results of the consultation with residents over the coming 8 weeks, we are confident that the business community in our region has made itself heard loud and clear. We are urging all businesses to submit a response to the consultation. This is a once in a generation opportunity to change infrastructure in East Anglia fundamentally and for the better.”