Since last year’s election I’ve continued to lobby the Government for significant rail improvements on the West Anglia Line. This means better rolling stock, investment in signalling and stations and doubling the track capacity into London. I am confident that we have a strong case to make.
First, it is vital to our local economy. Many people commute from Bishop's Stortford to jobs throughout the region, often in London or Cambridge. The older the track and rolling stock become, the more likely there will be delays on the line.
Second, the West Anglia route links two important national economic powerhouses, the City of London and Cambridge. They need to be linked by a reliable service, as does Stansted Airport. Without these essential improvements, both will struggle to continue to produce the wealth and jobs we all rely on.
Third, without the railway being upgraded the planned house building will be unsustainable. We know that the current system is barely coping with existing housing numbers, but many more houses are planned along the whole corridor from Cambridge southwards. The M11 isn’t the answer. A modern, reliable rail service could be.
To date I have joined forces with other MPs and our councils to make this case to Government. Now we need local firms to get on board and have their say. I had a meeting on May 23rd with local businesses in Bishop’s Stortford to discuss the importance of the line and investment. The response has been very positive so far following the meeting. I hope that as times goes by momentum will grow and we’ll see the benefits we need to the line.