MP CAROLINE ANSELL: Transport links remain top priority

Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne SUS-160224-134501001
Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne SUS-160224-134501001

Theresa May has wasted no time.

She has already met with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and as I write, is making her way to a hugely important first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Energy and strength of purpose have hallmarked her first days in office.

I’ve likewise not lost a moment in making sure our new PM and her new ministers understand what we need to thrive here in Eastbourne and Willingdon.

I have total conviction in our future and that same strength of purpose for my home town as the PM is demonstrating for our United Kingdom.

Transport links remain a top priority for us: improvements on the A27 (ie a new road), resolution to the dreadful situation on the railways and, a swift decision on airport expansion. ‘Connectivity’ is king when it comes to the performance of our local economy, which in turn is vital to our ability to provide for the vulnerable in our community and, provide opportunities now and for the next generation.

This government is rolling out unprecedented investment in our nation’s infrastructure and our billion pound investment in London Bridge is designed to take our Victorian rail line into the 21 century; maintaining services during these ambitious engineering works was always going to be challenging but combined with a host of problems and lately industrial action, has meant travelling misery.

Last week’s emergency timetable across the network seemed to ease the pain but a sink hole appearing under the tracks at London Bridge and signalling problems at Gatwick on the hottest day of the year led to packed trains, at best stressful and uncomfortable, at worse frankly dangerous.

There is a new rail minister in place and I wrote to the new transport secretary on his first day in office highlighting the awful service we have been experiencing. A delegation of MPs whose constituencies are blighted by Govia services will meet today.

I also wrote to the Prime Minister on her first day in No 10, to express the feelings of our local business community on the need for airport capacity and expansion.

I have long been a supporter of a second runway at Gatwick - it’s the more affordable, more deliverable and more sustainable solution - but I also favour Gatwick for their pledge to ensure that at least 40 per cent of the procurement of services and goods during the construction process, and ongoing, goes to local contractors and businesses (we qualify).

Today (Friday), I have the next in the series of meetings about an improved A27. I will post an update on the meeting later on my website which you will be able to see on

Transport links are vital to our future and I am determined to take Eastbourne & Willingdon forward.