As with digital connectivity, the South West has for too long been behind many areas of the UK in terms of transport connectivity. Our rural bus routes are at risk, trains are often delayed, potholes are a problem, and walking and cycling are often dangerous on single-track roads.
Below I have outlined my work on both buses and trains.
Trains are going to play a vital role in the UK meeting its promise to be Net Zero by 2050. In Totnes and South Devon, we unfortunately do not have a comprehensive train network and therefore work must be done to ensure that this changes.
In an ideal world, we would see train lines that were closed by Dr Beeching reopened and a comprehensive timetable rolled out.
To date I have:
- Championed cooperation between Great Western Railway and Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company to offer a through-fare ticket direct to Dartmouth, via Kingswear. Find out more here.
- Submitted a bid for the reopening of the Primrose Line
- Supported three further bids for the reopening of stations and lines across South Devon and Torbay
- Gained feedback from local residents on the reopening of Brent Station. View the results of my survey here.
- Gained feedback from local residents on the reopening of Goodrington and Churston stations. View the results of my survey here.
- Submitted two bids to the 'Restoring Your Railway' fund, one for the reopening of Brent Station and one for the reopening of Goodrington and Churston stations.
I welcome the Government’s funding announcements surrounding bus routes, namely the Rural Mobility Fund, and I am working with local councils and bus companies to ensure that Totnes and South Devon gets its fair share of any funding available.
I am working to ensure that all communities are served with a bus route and I have a ‘bus strategy’ for the area. I am always grateful for further ideas on bus routes residents feel are lacking.
My focus currently is the provision in Brixham and Dartmouth; however, this is an ever-evolving campaign.
To date I have:
- Met with the Minister for Buses to highlight the issues in Totnes and South Devon
- Had meetings with Country Bus, Stagecoach and Tally Ho to discuss future bus routes
- Asked regular Written and Oral Parliamentary Questions on Rural Transport Routes
- Ensured the extension of the number 15 and 16 bus in Brixham until March 2022. I will keep pushing to find a long-term solution to keep these buses running without the need for regular review and intervention.
- Launched a bus strategy survey to gauge local use and perception of services in Totnes and South Devon, which will be used to ensure that we are able to improve our local transport network following the announcement of the National Bus Strategy. You can find the results of this survey here.