Peter Aldous calls for improved rail access between East Anglia and Stansted

12th January 2016

Peter Aldous calls for improved rail connectivity between East Anglia and Stansted to enable it to become a major engine for growth for the whole region.

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): I congratulate my right hon. Friend on securing the debate. Does he agree that improved connectivity through rail can really enable Stansted to be a major engine of growth for the whole East Anglia region, including my constituency, which is the most easterly constituency in the region?

Sir Alan Haselhurst: I agree with my hon. Friend. Stansted would, of course, see itself as already being that engine of growth. Its presence is undoubtedly a major factor in the investment decisions being made by some very important businesses.

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Peter Aldous: The east Anglian region has for a long time been the poor relation with respect to airport connectivity. Does my hon. Friend agree that we can up our game? In the Chamber today there are Members representing constituencies with Stansted, London City, Luton and Cambridge airports—and there is also Norwich. We need a strategy for connecting to those airports and making the best use of the facilities and resources that we already have.

Mr Jackson: My hon. Friend makes an important and astute point that speaks to a lack of joined-up thinking on transport infrastructure. We get it right on the smaller, strategic projects. One only has to think of the guided bus that links St Ives in Mid Cambridgeshire to Cambridge. I used that bus to go into Cambridge over Christmas. It is a fantastic facility and, as I understand it, it is now scrubbing its face financially. My hon. Friend the Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay) is campaigning for a better link between Wisbech and Cambridge, and I thank the Minister because we are having an upgrade of the east coast main line. Some £43 million has been spent on Peterborough railway station, for which we are inordinately grateful. However, do we actually join up all those individual projects across a big area? I suspect that we do not. Airport capacity and connectivity is another issue that we need to look at.

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Peter holds regular surgeries at various locations in the constituency. Please call 01502 586568 to make an appointment.

 

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