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A14 and Weekley-Warkton Bypass

Volume 580: debated on Thursday 8 May 2014

6. If the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport will visit the sites of the proposed junction 10A on the A14 and the proposed Weekley-Warkton bypass, and meet representatives of Kettering borough council to discuss those proposals on 23 May 2014. [R] (903896)

I thank the Minister for his positive response. Thousands of new houses are being built in and around Kettering, so these two projects, which will cost a total of £60 million, are vital not only to unlock £1 billion of economic development under the Treasury Green Book rules but to prevent the town of Kettering from grinding to a halt because of all the extra traffic.

I think that my hon. Friend found out that I was due to be in Corby that day to open a new road, so I will be able to combine the two visits. This is a £40 million to £50 million scheme to which we have no policy objections, but as it will unlock potential development for up to 5,000 houses and improve access to the business and energy parks, I think that it is only fair that those who stand to gain—that is, the developers and the local authority, through the new homes bonus—should pay some of the costs.

When the Minister is in north Northamptonshire, will he ensure that his visit to Kettering does not eat into the time he has with us to celebrate the opening of the new Kettering to Corby link road? In my dealings with the Minister I have found him to be an even-handed and fair-minded man, so will he acknowledge that because of the lead-in, this project is very much a result of the work of the previous Labour Government and of Phil Hope, the then MP for Corby?

I would just add that this Government have tripled investment in roads, whereas I seem to remember that in 1997, when the Blair Government came to power, there was a moratorium on building roads. I look forward to coming to Corby. I think I will be calling in at Newark on the way home.