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Blame for failure on highway schemes lies with Norfolk Conservatives

February 27, 2020 3:59 PM

Liberal Democrat County Councillor Brian Watkins has criticised the ruling Conservative administration at County Hall for refusing to accept its share of the blame for the non-delivery of major infrastructure projects in Norfolk. Back in 2014, Norfolk County Council was awarded £300 million by central government for improvements along the A47, with the former prime minister David Cameron famously pledging his commitment to the delivery of the schemes. However, six years on the diggers have remained silent, and the work has yet to start.

Andrew Proctor, the Leader of Norfolk County Council, has laid the blame squarely at the door of Highways England and has called the organisation 'inept'. Yet the Highways Agency have just announced that they will complete the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade six months ahead of schedule. How can the Highways Agency work quickly in Cambridgeshire but not in Norfolk?

Brian Watkins says, "it is about time Norfolk conservatives faced up to their own inadequacies on this issue. 'Quite frankly, this is a cop-out! It's very easy to blame Highways England for the lack of progress, but the Tories have shown a complete lack of political leadership. Where was their commitment to move things forward? They've run the County Council for the past four years and had local MPs in prominent Government positions, and yet they've got precisely nowhere. Whatever the merits of these schemes, the buck stops with them!!

Photo of Brian Watkins

Councillor Brian Watkins