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Political co-operation in A453 hold-up, says MP

John Hess | 16:38 UK time, Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A453 traffic

Labour MPs in Greater Nottingham are discovering they aren't getting their own way when it comes to being heard.

They fired off a Commons motion deploring the coalition government's decision to shelve the dualling of the A453 from the M1 into Nottingham.

It's an 11 mile stretch of motoring tedium for any driver, who's been stuck in hours of hold-ups and congestion on this busy road.

The Labour MPs - led by Nottingham South newcomer Lilian Greenwood - talked about the impact on Nottingham's economic recovery, and the " potentially damaging ramifications" for the Nottingham tram scheme.

Their Commons motion looks for backing from other Nottinghamshire MPs, including many of the new Conservative intake. But it's no-go, especially for Broxtowe's new Tory MP Anna Soubry.

"This is one local issue we should all be agreeing about. Labour could have adopted a cross-party approach on the A453. It would have been more effective, better politics and in keeping with the spirit of this new parliament," she told me.

"Instead their motion is just too partisan and by including a reference to future funding of the Nottingham tram scheme, there's no way I or other new Conservative MPs could back it. It's such a missed opportunity. After all, we all recognise that the A453 needs to be improved "

So Anna Soubry's contacting the government's Transport Minister Terersa Villiers direct to seek an early meeting to discuss the A453. Once the date's fixed, Anna Soubry tells me she will want Labour MPs from Greater Nottingham to be invited.

Labour's Chris Leslie from Nottingham East has already given the initiative his thumbs-up.

"This is the type of issue where all MPs - regardless of their party politics - should be getting together.
The new politics of this parliament could, afterall, put improvements to the A453 back in the government's fast lane.
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