Norwich roads boss in 'emotional' welcome for city's 20mph limit

  • 24 July 2015
  • From the section England
20mph zone
The 20mph (32kph) zones in Norwich are to become imposed across the city centre

What does Norwich have in common with Edinburgh, Bristol, The City of London, Paris and Barcelona? The answer is that by next spring they will all have a blanket speed limit of 20mph (32kph) in their city centres.

Norwich is the first place in the region to slow down the traffic on every road in the centre and there was a sense of history being made as the vote was taken by the city council's highways committee.

"This is quite emotional for me," admitted committee chairman, Steve Morphew. "I remember 15 years ago using the phrase '20's plenty' during a campaign in Norwich. These things take time but its moment has finally arrived."

The decision to impose the limit on every road within the inner ring road, widen footpaths and install speed bumps across the city centre had cross party support.

Conservative county councillor Nigel Shaw said: "I have been pushing for 20 mile an hour limits on these roads since 2002. It is going to make the area much safer for pedestrians and cyclists."

Read full article Norwich roads boss in 'emotional' welcome for city's 20mph limit

Suffolk MP tells BT superfast broadband must go faster

  • 14 July 2015
  • From the section England
Broadband tunnel
Superfast Broadband is must in today's economy and Suffolk is badly served according to MPs

Was Dr Dan Poulter MP speaking for many businesses and households in the region when he called on BT to "go further and faster and more quickly" when there is capacity?

"That should be something which is enabled and encouraged, not slowed down by BT," he told the House of Commons on Tuesday evening.

Read full article Suffolk MP tells BT superfast broadband must go faster

The Broads: Who should run them?

  • 10 July 2015
  • From the section England
Boating on the broads
The Broads Authority is responsible for boating on 125 miles of waterways in Norfolk and Suffolk

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are one of the most important tourist attractions in the East.

With 125 miles of navigable waterways, 190 miles of footpaths, 8m visitors a year, it's worth more than half a billion pounds to the local economy,

Read full article The Broads: Who should run them?

Stansted Airport to increase passenger numbers but no new runway

  • 2 July 2015
  • From the section England
Stansted
A decision not to build a second runway at Stansted Airport was welcomed by local people

The man charged with finding a solution to the problem of airport capacity in the South East says he expects "significant expansion" at Stansted over the next 10 years but he says there's no demand to build another runway there.

Announcing Heathrow as his preferred choice for a new runway, Sir Howard Davies said: "At the moment Stansted is only carrying 20m passengers where it could take 35m, so the market is telling you that's not currently a preferred solution."

Read full article Stansted Airport to increase passenger numbers but no new runway

'Pause' hits rail plan for East

  • 26 June 2015
  • From the section England
East Midlands train at Kettering
Development of the Midland Mainline has been paused by the government

Over the past few years we've written many blogs about first, the campaigns and then, the commitments to improve rail services in East Anglia but should we now be starting to ask how realistic those promises are?

This week Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin was forced to announce that some of his much vaunted £38bn rail improvement plan will have to be "paused".

Read full article 'Pause' hits rail plan for East

'Think big' Lib Dem members told

  • 22 June 2015
  • From the section England
Norman Lamb
Norman Lamb is touring the country in his bid to win the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party

Norman Lamb has got his opening patter down to a fine art. "I can confidently predict that this is an election which will be won by a Liberal Democrat", he tells his audience in the lecture hall of a Cambridge college.

The East's one remaining Liberal Democrat MP is making his pitch for leader before party members in the region. The day before he'd been in Southampton not getting home until after midnight. In one week the itinerary also included London, Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester. Then it's off to Scotland.

Read full article 'Think big' Lib Dem members told

Labour leadership contest comes East

  • 11 June 2015
  • From the section England
Andy Burnham MP
Andy Burnham meets students in Basildon on his leadership campaign trail

They needed to win Ipswich, Bedford and Waveney if they were to have had any chance of forming a government but they didn't. Now the Labour Party is selecting a new leader.

Whoever wins will have their work cut out to bring the Labour Party back in this region.

Read full article Labour leadership contest comes East

Government early green light for promised road and rail projects

  • 3 June 2015
  • From the section England
Train leaving Norwich
The government was quick off the mark to announce the shortlist of firms for the Greater Anglia franchise

The new government isn't wasting time. Less than a month after winning the election, it's keen to show that it's sticking to its manifesto promises.

In the course of just a couple of hours this week, it made two important infrastructure announcements for the region. It published the shortlist for running the Greater Anglia Rail Franchise and it gave the a long-awaited go ahead for a controversial new road around Norwich.

Read full article Government early green light for promised road and rail projects

General Election 2015: Tories dominate in the East

  • 11 May 2015
  • From the section England
Chloe Smith
Chloe Smith increased her share of the votes while holding her Norwich North seat

On 16 November 2012, Labour's Andy Sawford stood on the stage of the Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby after winning the by-election and declared: "The road to Downing Street runs through Corby."

Well, clearly it does, for last week he was one of the party's casualties in the East of England.

Read full article General Election 2015: Tories dominate in the East

Election 2015: Time for the east to decide

  • 1 May 2015
  • From the section England
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

It's decision time. After the best part of six months of campaigning, manifesto launches, policy announcements and big name visits, there's little more that the parties can do. It's now up to people across the east to make up their minds.

"There are more undecideds this year than in 2010," Chris Hanretty from the University of East Anglia said.

Read full article Election 2015: Time for the east to decide