Lib Dems – U turn on A14 or is it?

Julian Huppert, Lib Dem MP for Cambridge, has for a long time been against widening of the A14. He has his own reasons but is clearly very much in the minority.

He was reported as saying on 28/07/2010 in the Cambridge News “The scheme, which has fortunately been put on hold, would wreak havoc on Cambridge.”

In the same article:

John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, was critical of Mr Huppert’s opposition to the A14 widening.

He said: “He does not appear to be living in the real world.

Even earlier the Lib Dems have a long history of opposing widening of the A14. The leader column of the Cambridge News had it right back in 2005: “Cambridgeshire County Council, four district councils, Conservative MPs, the police, and a host of other important regional organisations have joined forces to demand swift action, and have sent a letter to the Highways Agency urging it to get moving on the project. But one lone body is holding out and refusing to sign up fully to the initiative – the Liberal Democrat-controlled Cambridge City Council. And Cambridge’s new Lib Dem MP David Howarth and the county council’s Lib Dem group have also snubbed the campaign”

But it seems, as we approach the next set of elections, with the Lib Dems ever more unpopular it seems they are now supporting the A14 widening. Or so Nick Clegg says. Perhaps Julian Huppert has been told to get on message to be more electable or perhaps Nick has not told him.

Today, In a radio interview on Radio Cambridgeshire, with Chris Mann, Nick Clegg had this to say:

“NICK CLEGG: It’s something separate, but we’ve already said, back in November of last year, so exactly a year ago, that we will make a commitment now to increase capacity on the A14. And you’re right. Without that increased capacity on the A14, only a small number of houses in Northstowe could be built. So the two things very much go hand in hand. And it’s certainly a point that Julian Huppert has been making to me for a long period of time, which is that when you plan for new homes and new construction in an area as beautiful as Cambridge and the outlying areas, north Cambridge, you’ve got to do so in a way which is properly supported by adequate transport infrastructure. And that’s exactly what we’ve sought to do with our support for the A14 expansion.”

So who should we believe, Nick Clegg or Julian Huppert? I’m afraid history has shown ” never trust a Lib Dem”.

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