Vara criticises Highways England’s attitude on closure of A1(M) sliproad

29th June 2017

Shailesh Vara criticises Highways England’s unacceptable attitude regarding the closure of the southbound slip road at Junction 17 of the A1 (M) which is causing huge misery and inconvenience to thousands of motorists.

In recent days, there has been absolute misery for thousands of motorists in my constituency, which has been caused by work that is being carried out by Highways England. I wrote to Mr Jim O’Sullivan, the chief executive of Highways England, for an explanation, and it has taken a week for me to receive a standard acknowledgment letter saying that I will get a substantive response within the next 15 days, by which time the works will be over. Given that the decisions taken by Highways England impact on millions of people 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?


I can well imagine what an irritation this is for my hon. Friend’s constituents. I would certainly not be happy with an acknowledgment and then the pledge of a proper reply within two weeks. Many public sector organisations respond very quickly to requests from Members of Parliament, and I hope that Highways England will have heard his remarks and will give him a very quick answer.