17 Aug My meetings with transport ministers and local groups
Much of the work I have done so far has involved transport and we have had some good outcomes. We cannot travel from one side of the county to the other – that cannot be right. The lines are there, the infrastructure is in place but over the years rail connections have ceased. So far I have secured two meetings with Government Ministers and at the time I am writing this I am preparing to go to a meeting with Rail Minster Paul Maynard and representatives from Mid Cheshire Rail Users Groups. We will be setting out the case for re-opening part of the closed lines and expanding the rail network across Cheshire. It is vital ministers hear from local people and campaigners about the problems inadequate links cause and what benefits improvements will bring to the economy and surrounding areas. I’ve spoken about the urgency in getting a Mid Cheshire link and an Airport Western link.
HS2 is another huge issue for the area and I have spoken to many people who are concerned over the environmental impact and discussed these concerns with the Department for Transport. Populations are expanding, businesses are increasing in size and there are local plans to have tens of thousands of new homes across the area. Transport links are vital to the economy and for securing jobs so we need to make sure ours are fit for purpose. The huge expansion cannot be catered for on the local roads and High Speed 2 will not be an answer. Re-opening our local lines is key.