On Wednesday, the day before the Parliament was closed down the MP for Mid Sussex, Mims Davies asked a very significant question and tragically the Government responded by claiming that they would resolve the question by the provision of one of their future Bills that may eventually take place. It is deeply concerning. So here are the question and answer from Mims Davies and the Government Minister, Mark Spencer who is the Leader of the House of Commons. Sadly Spencer ignores the question and claims that the Government Bill will solve the problem even though it will take a long time to get resolved and it won’t necessarily deal with these issues.
Mims Davies: Sticking with the rails, my constituents in East Grinstead are fed up with the lack of regular services. It is frustrating many of my Mid Sussex commuters who simply cannot get to their desks for 8 o’clock in the morning, particularly in the City. That is having an impact on people who want to come back to the office, which supports local businesses and hospitality. Often, services are dropped to prioritise central London services, where people have tubes, trains and other options. Sussex commuters have less choice. Will the Leader of the House find time for a debate on post-covid rail services, so we can properly support local communities and those who want to get back to business as usual?
Mark Spencer: My hon. Friend is a true champion for the needs of her constituents, and she is right to mention the importance of local transport links for people living outside our cities. That is why the Government have committed to more than £35 billion of investment between 2022 and 2025. Our transport Bill will modernise rail services and improve their reliability for passengers. High levels of short-notice cancellations are unacceptable and the Department for Transport is working with operators to ensure a reliable service is provided to all passengers.
In terms of the proposal Bill according to the Express newspaper on the 10th May “The purpose of the bill is to simplify the railways and keep the UK at the forefront of transport innovation by helping to decarbonise transport. One of the main benefits of the bill would be to enable the installation of more electric vehicle charge points throughout the UK. This will help move the country towards the Government’s aim of transitioning away from new petrol and diesel car and van sales by 2030.” According to the Local Government Association the Bill is going to deal with a wide range of themes. Here they state
“Councils are determined to tackle climate change and are already supporting the transition to electric vehicles. It is good that the Queen’s Speech outlines ambitions to speed up this transition but councils need clarity about their role in delivering this change.”
and they also state
Commenting on the Government’s announcement of a new Transport Bill as part of the Queen’s Speech, Cllr David Renard, Transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association said:
“Councils are determined to tackle climate change and are already supporting the transition to electric vehicles. It is good that the Queen’s Speech outlines ambitions to speed up this transition but councils need clarity about their role in delivering this change. Encouraging greater use of the passenger transport network, including rail but also buses, is an important way of tackling poor air quality and meeting net-zero targets. Any new railway body must work with councils closely, who have a key role to play supporting investment in local railway infrastructure and regeneration of communities. It is disappointing that the Queen’s Speech did not give councils the powers they need to tackle the scourge of pavement parking, which presents a danger to pedestrians and vulnerable people. We urge the Government to take urgent action and make our streets safer for everyone.”