The Government must deliver the transport infrastructure the North needs. It’s vital to Sheffield’s long term economic prospects. I have co-signed a letter to the Transport Secretary calling on the Government to end the neglect and underfunding of transport in the north and will keep up the pressure on this and other transport issues.
I have consistently pressed for track improvements on the Midland Mainline between London and Sheffield. I was outraged by the Government’s betrayal of promises when they cancelled the electrification of the Midland Mainline and have urged them to think again, especially after I exposed the real cost to the environment. I have also challenged Government ministers and Network Rail on repeated delays to the tram-train system between Sheffield and Rotherham. I held a parliamentary debate on pedestrian access to railways stations and secured a subsequent meeting at which Government Ministers scrapped the plans.
HS2 and HS3
HS2 will be the biggest investment in railways north of London since Victorian times. It will enable the rail network to provide for the growing number of rail users, improve services, reduce travel times and bring enormous benefits. But I consistently campaigned against the proposal to locate the station in Meadowhall, and not the city centre, which is more accessible and makes economic sense. So I was pleased when HS2 bosses accepted this case. But HS2 alone is not enough. I’ve pressed for better connectivity between our northern cities – something that’s become known as HS3 – massively cutting journey times with Manchester and Leeds in particular, helping to rebalance the economy away from London.
Bus services are primarily a matter for local Councillors, but I’ve campaigned to save bus services and backed calls for a fare freeze for students. At the last election I supported Labour’s proposal to give cities more power over local transport, including granting local people greater control over bus routes, fares and network improvements. I will continue to defend our bus network.
Cycling and walking
Like many people in Sheffield I am a keen recreational cyclist and walker and take a close interest in the issues. I am a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling, backed the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ cross-party report in a parliamentary debate and urged the Government to make all cities fit for cycling by investing in infrastructure. I’ve also backed the ‘Living Streets’ campaign, which makes it safer and easier for older people to get around the local neighbourhood on foot, and supported local ‘walking buses’ which take primary school children from their homes to their schools on foot.
This is a selection of my work on this issue. Please get in touch if you want to find out more.