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A14: Funding for Junction 10A

Volume 710: debated on Thursday 17 March 2022

14. If he will ensure that funding for junction 10A on the A14 at Kettering is incorporated into his Department’s road investment strategy 3 from 2025. (906125)

The findings of the technical review for the A14 junction 10A have been completed by National Highways and form the high-level strategic outline business case for the scheme (SOBC). National Highways have confirmed they will be happy to share the technical review with my hon. Friend and meet him to discuss these in due course.

Residents in Kettering, Barton Seagrave and Burton Latimer desperately need junction 10A to be included in road investment strategy 3 from 2025 because with 5,500 new homes being built on the Hanwood Park development to the east of Kettering, Kettering will grind to a halt if this junction is not put in place. Would my hon. Friend be kind enough to secure a meeting for me with the Roads Minister so that we can progress this scheme?

My hon. Friend continues to be the strongest possible champion for this scheme and for his constituents. I know he met the Roads Minister to discuss this recently, but I know my noble Friend the Baroness Vere will be more than happy to meet him again. Discussions about this scheme remain ongoing.

The road investment strategy will now have to take into account remedial work on smart motorways. Just last week it was revealed that for almost a week prior to a tragic collision on the M4, vehicle detection technology, there to protect stranded motorists, had been broken. What is more, overnight it has been reported that one in six stopped vehicle detection cameras on the M25 are currently out of action. These serious flaws in safety-critical technology on smart motorways are continuing to put lives at risk. I beg the Minister to urgently address these serious flaws and, in the meantime, to reinstate the hard shoulder before more lives are needlessly lost.

I thank the hon. Lady for her question, with which I have a lot of sympathy. We are committed to making sure that smart motorways are among the safest roads in the country. We want drivers not just to be safe, but, crucially, to feel safe and confident when driving on those roads. That is why we have listened to concerns and are taking forward the Transport Committee’s recommendations. We need to continue to work to ensure that smart motorways are as safe as possible for all road users.