One of the biggest challenges for Plymouth is to improve our transport links.
Our region is still scarred from the 2014 storms, which washed away the line at Dawlish and cut us off from the rest of the UK for 6 weeks. As Chairman of the All-Party Group for South West Rail, I am leading the charge to ensure that the Government listens to the South West and gives us what we need - a resilient rail line.
In November 2016, the Peninsula Rail Task Force (PRTF) released it's report Closing the Gap, which set out the region's blueprint for rail in the South West. As the Chairman of the All-Party Group for South West Rail, I wholeheartedly support and endorse the report. I believe that the Government understands the real issues that we face in Plymouth and the South West regarding rail, and I know that Ministers have been very willing to meet with not only me, but my fellow colleagues.
I will continue to press the Government for a full response to the report and I look forward gaining assurances about the Government's plans.
Plymouth City Airport
In 2015, the then-Chancellor, George Osborne, commissioned a report a report into the future and possible reopening of Plymouth City Airport, at my behest.
I've been working closely with FlyPlymouth to make the case for Plymouth Airport and now that the Government has released its report, Plymouth City Council has earmarked the land for protection for another 4 years. I am pleased that the council has taken this step and I hope that we can find a solution to re-opening the airport.
Our Road Network
I have campaigned for the A303 to be dualled fully and I am delighted that the Government is going to invest in this project. I will make sure that this is a priority for the South West so that Plymouth can be better connected to the rest of the UK.
With these three transport pledges, I am working hard to ensure that Plymouth's transport network is resilient, fast and fit for the 21st century.