Azara Blog: A14 upgrade

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Date published: 2005/02/22

The Cambridge Evening News says:

[ Matthew Bullock, one of the founders of the "Cambridge Phenomenon", ] regularly drives to Oxford, where his father Lord Bullock was a former Vice-Chancellor of the university. "On the way there I go past Silverstone race track, and there is now a fantastic dual carriageway running past it to the M40," he said.

"That new road was built in double-quick time because Tony Blair authorised it. Bernie Ecclestone, the man behind the British Grand Prix, had threatened to stop holding the race unless traffic congestion there was sorted out, and lo and behold, Mr Blair steps in.

"The same applies to the eight-lane stretch of the A1 we now have between Alconbury and Peterborough. That was built with great speed, and it's no coincidence that at the time it was built, John Major was Prime Minister and Brian Mawhinney had been Secretary of State for Transport - and the road ran right through their constituencies.

"With the political will from the top, the A14 could be upgraded much more quickly. It merely needs Mr Blair or Gordon Brown, who has a strong interest in technology, to say go ahead, and it will happen.

"I completely support the News campaign about the A14. The more we can make this a political issue, the more likely we might succeed.

"Cambridge is growing, it is burgeoning, but we're going to screw it up unless ministers pull their fingers out. They are just not supporting our success.

Of course Ecclestone gave a large sum of money to the Labour Party. Perhaps Cambridge should. And as noted, when prime ministers have a local interest they are happy to pull strings. Unfortunately Gordon Brown is part of the Scottish mafia and hates Oxbridge (it's said he has a chip on both shoulders). And Tony Blair is far too busy wasting time and money on Iraq, and trying to remove all our civil liberties, to have any time to do anything useful like making sure the transport infrastructure in the country is any good. [ Well, Gordon Brown did throw a large sum of money at Cambridge in the form of the Cambridge-MIT Institute. Unfortunately that is a classic example of how government should not be "choosing winners". The good coming out is not nearly as high as the amount going in (well, not yet anyway). And it involved Cambridge only because MIT insisted that's who they wanted as a partner. ]

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