BREAKING NEWS: UKIP overwhelmingly defeated in bid to get a referendum on £25m cash for A14 upgrade

Cllr Martin Curtis.

Cllr Martin Curtis. - Credit: Archant

A BID by UKIP to force Cambridgeshire County Council to hold a referendum before giving £25million to an upgrade of the A14 has been overwhelmingly defeated.

Cllr Gordon Gillick (UKIP)

Cllr Gordon Gillick (UKIP) - Credit: Archant

At a full council meeting today at Cambridge, county councillors rejected the referendum proposal put forward by Councillor Paul Bullen by 51 votes to 14.

Cllr Steve Count.

Cllr Steve Count. - Credit: Archant

Cllr Bullen had insisted the law allows referendums to be carried out cheaply and said

his motion was about giving people choice on transport schemes.

The debate sparked incredulity at one point after Wisbech UKIP councillor Gordon Gillick appeared to propose closing the guided bus way and turning it into a road linking Huntingdon with Cambridge.

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Cllr Gillick said the north of the county would get no benefit from improvements to the A14 and a road built down the busway was one solution to the problem of traffic.

March councillor Steve Count, and portfolio holder for finance, said if councils and enterprise partnerships didn’t help with the cost then the Government would walk away from and the A14 would not be improved.

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But another Wisbech councillor, Paul Clapp, pointed to the M6 toll road and said it was under used and so not the answer.

Council leader Martin Curtis said Cambridge residents use the A14 regularly and the congested road holds business back. Additionally and on average a person is injured on the A14 every two days.

He said the council couldn’t not to upgrade the A14 which will benefit the county far more than the £25million proposed investment.

Councillor Ian Bates said 905 people had been injured on the A14 over last five years “and we owe it to them to improve it”

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