Shailesh Vara hits out at ‘couldn’t care less attitude’ by Highways England in Parliament

Fletton Parkway this morning
Fletton Parkway this morning
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Shailesh Vara has critisised Highways England in Parliament over their response to the roadworks that have brought the Peterborough road network to its knees.

North West Cambridgeshire MP Mr Vara wrote to Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England, on Tuesday, June 20 asking what action could be taken to alleviate the problems caused by road works schemes such as the works being carried out at junction 17 of the A1(M).

However, he has not yet received a reply.

During Business Questions at the House of Commons today (Thursday), Mr Vara said: “In recent days there has been absolute misery for thousands of motorists in my constituency caused by work that is being carried out by Highways England. I wrote to Mr Jim O’Sullivan, chief executive of Highways England for an explanation and it has taken a week to receive a standard acknowledgment letter saying I will receive a substantive response within 15 days, by which time the work will be over.

“Given the decisions taken by Highways England impact on millions throughout the country, can we have a statement from the Transport secretary as to whether this couldn’t care less attitude from Mr O’Sullivan and his organisation is an acceptable way to go forward?”

Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom replied: “Well I can well imagine what an irritation it is for his constituents, and certainly I would not be happy with an acknowledgement and then the pledge of a proper reply within two weeks.

“I think for many public sector organisations they do respond very quickly to requests from Members of Parliament and I hope Highways England will have heard his remarks and give a very quick answer.”

A spokesman for Highways England said the road closure at Junction 17 is set to end at 5am tomorrow (Friday).

A closure will be put in place on the southbound slip road leading from the A1(M) to Norman Cross at 9pm. The road will be closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week until 5am on Friday, July 14. During the junction 16 closure, drivers will be diverted via the next A1(M) junction and back.

To find out more about roadworks planned by Highways England, visit: http://roads.highways.gov.uk/regions/east/?postcode=&keywords=&roads=A1M&status

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