Transport pledges made by General Election candidates
PUBLISHED: 12:59 06 December 2019
Public transport and the future of Bristol Airport have dominated the pledges made by the four candidates to be North Somerset’s MP.
The next five years will see major changes to the constituency's transport network, especially with thousands of homes going to be built that will inevitably have a big impact on infrastructure.
But making sure green technology is maximised has also formed a key part in several of the candidates' pledges.
Ashley Cartman - Liberal Democrats:
High quality public transport is essential to the economy, the environment and to building sustainable communities.
We will invest in our rail network, improving stations, electrifying the network, and re-opening stations.
We will halt the decline of local bus services, and we would give North Somerset Council the ability to run, commission, and regulate the services in our area.
We are opposed to the expansion of Bristol Airport, and any airport in the UK, until we have tackled the climate emergency.
We would also substantially reduce the VAT payable on the purchase of new electric cars to encourage take up.
Liam Fox - Conservatives:
North Somerset's booming economy has led to greater congestion on our roads.
Transport spending is set to increase by 11.4 per cent between now and 2020-21, including funding for a new bus strategy.
In a House of Commons debate I received confirmation that the Government will contribute nearly £40million to the Portishead railway scheme which means it can proceed to the final stages of planning. We are providing a £500million 'Beeching reversal fund' to be spent on reconnecting branch lines to towns cut off from the rail network.
Expansion of Bristol Airport's passenger numbers will not be possible without a major upgrade to our transport infrastructure locally.
Philip Neve - Green Party
The rail system should be renationalised, HS2 scrapped and more investment put into improving regional services across the country.
Bus services should be regulated and provision made to re-connect rural communities to reduce isolation and car use.
All cities need zero carbon transport strategies. This should include clean air zones to reduce polluting transport along with investment in comprehensive low carbon public transport, electric vehicle charging, cycling and walking provision.
Large domestic and industrial developments should not be permitted without provision of comprehensive public transport accessible to all.
All airport expansion must be halted and airline fuel subsidies ended.
Hannah Young - Labour:
If we are to address the climate emergency, we need real change in the quality and availability of our public transport.
Despite years of local campaigning, the Portishead railway line remains shut and our local bus services have been cut and fragmented. Labour will invest in a modern, integrated, accessible and sustainable transport system that is reliable and affordable.
It will take the railways back into public ownership, invest in low-carbon rural bus services, introduce regulations to protect routes of critical community value - including those that serve local schools, hospitals and isolated areas - and provide free bus passes for under-25s.