Transport

This week Surrey and Sussex MPs met to discuss two issues of pressing concern to our constituents. The rail service has been appalling, with continuing problems, especially on the Brighton line.

At the end of the last Parliament I and other MPs raised these issues with the Rail Minister, Claire Perry.  She arraigned Southern and Network Rail at a special meeting at the Commons, at which they agreed to a performance improvement plan.

I am pleased that the Minister has remained in post and next week we will be meeting her again to press for further action and hold the companies to account.

Southern now has the unenviable reputation as the worst rail company in the country. People are fed up of excuses - they want action and tangible improvements to the service.

MPs also discussed the issue of a second runway at Gatwick.  The Airports Commission is due to make its final recommendations this summer, having boiled down the choice between expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick.

However the report may be delayed while the Commission takes further evidence on problems caused by air pollution. I remain concerned that already acute development pressures in West Sussex would be made far worse with a second runway at Gatwick.

West Sussex County Council's study concluded that it would require 30,000 to 45,000 new houses, equivalent to a new town the size of Crawley or 1,000 houses added to 40 villages.

And as the for Gatwick's transport connections: the rail service clearly can't cope with existing demand.

Could it deal with with 60 million more passengers a year, nearly three times the current number? To adapt a phrase, obviously not.


Document type

Articles

Published

20 May 2015

Back · New Media centre search

"I pledge to work hard for everyone in the constituency, to stand up for local people, and to be a strong voice at Westminster for your concerns"