Sunday, 23 November 2014

Why I have pledged to improve our roads

This week has been another busy week on the road to 7th May. We have received delivery of my latest newspaper, which our army of volunteers will be out distributing over the coming weeks.

As well as dodging the showers whilst out delivering, I have also had a number of meetings with local residents helping them with issues ranging from planning and benefits to highways.

Issues relating to our roads are one of the most common concerns raised by constituents with me.  As well as the frequent concerns about the state of our roads, the number of potholes and issues such as parking and speeding, it is clear that many local people are also concerned at a more strategic level about the effect of the huge growth in traffic on the roads. A recent report highlighted that we also have the two most dangerous roads in Cornwall here in St Austell and Newquay. Yet there has been woefully little investment to improve the situation.

As I travel around the area I often hear how concerned you are about the congestion on the roads.  There was a time that the roads of Cornwall were quiet in the off-season; we all know this is no longer the case.  The roads are busy throughout the year; the number of people living in the county has grown and this has added to the burden on the infrastructure.

The Road Safety Foundation recently issued their annual report that highlighted the only two roads in Cornwall to receive “medium to high risk” status.  These are the A3058 between St Austell and Summercourt, and Par Moor Road, and both lie within the boundaries of our Constituency.

Our current MP warned us to be careful in the festive season and urged Cornwall Council to take note of the Road Safety Foundation’s findings.  But I am afraid this simply isn’t good enough, we need action.

It is clear that a large investment is needed to allow the quality of Cornwall’s roads to catch up with the increased traffic, especially here in mid-Cornwall. I have already been lobbying on your behalf, highlighting the issue to David Cameron, George Osborne and Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport.

The following projects are already receiving my full support:

The Newquay Strategic Route – this is a key building block in the plan for the Newquay Growth Area and the airport, but it has stalled in recent months.
A new road linking St Austell to the A30 that also provides a by-pass for Bugle and Roche.
A new by-pass for St Austell, probably to the north, to ease congestion on the A390 from Holmbush to St Mewan.
Appropriate remedial work to ensure the A3058 and Par Moor Road are made safer.

The good news is that I am not on my own in this. The next Conservative Government will back these aims with hard cash.

On Monday 10th November, speaking at the CBI, David Cameron announced;

“The biggest, boldest and most far reaching road improvement programme in four decades: over 100 improvements to our major roads. And all underpinned by over £15bn worth of investment. This will be nothing less than a roads revolution – one which will lead to quicker journey times, more jobs, and businesses boosted right across the country.”

So if we form the next Government there will be funds available and I will be pressing the case for investment in mid-Cornwall.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference last month, Patrick McLoughlin laid out his vision for rebuilding Britain’s transport system and highlighted the team already in place in the South West fighting on your behalf.

“Our great team in the southwest. People like George Eustice M and Sarah Newton MP backing Cornwall with better transport links for both locals and tourists.”

I would be honoured to join that team of people delivering better roads to this Constituency, but I can only do this if I am elected and so I ask for your support next May.

I would be happy to discuss this issue, or indeed any other, with you so please do not hesitate to get in touch.