Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017.
The Government’s Minister for Growth, Greg Clark MP was in Bedford on Friday (9th January) with local MP, Richard Fuller and Conservative Mayoral Candidate, Jas Parmar to discuss Bedford’s economic future.
The Minister was in the region to sign officially the Local Growth Deal that gave Bedford the final piece of funding for the Western bypass.
Richard and Jas took the Minister to the sites of some of the ambitious projects they have proposed to drive Bedford and Kempston’s economic growth, including a new road bridge over the River Great Ouse at Batt’s Ford.
Richard commented, “I have been delighted over recent months that the Government has committed funding to several vitally important infrastructure projects in and around Bedford, including the Bedford-Oxford railway, a flyover for the Black Cat junction of the A1 and the completion of the western bypass.”
“Having the Growth Minister here in Bedford gave us a great opportunity to show him the plans we have for other projects that will bring about new jobs and economic prosperity for Bedford and Kempston.”
Jas added, “A new road bridge in Bedford has been talked about for decades and would make a real difference to traffic in Bedford. It was great to have the opportunity to tell the Minister more about the projects that matter to Bedford Borough.”
Bedfordshire MPs, Richard Fuller and Nadine Dorries questioned bosses from Govia Thameslink and Network Rail about the recent poor train service provided on the Bedford-Brighton line.
The MPs raised concerns from their constituents who have suffered with a high number of train delays and cancellations since Govia took over the franchise in September.
Govia apologised for the poor performance which they put down to severe driver shortages and confirmed that they were taking action to improve things.
Bedford and Kempston MP, Richard Fuller said,
“There have been unacceptable levels of disruption and cancellations on the Thameslink line in recent weeks. Govia say they have driver shortages, which they are addressing, and that improvements will come but will take time. I have my doubts and Nadine and I have asked for regular updates to monitor progress.”
Road investment to create expressway linking Bedford to Cambridge and Milton Keynes welcomed by Bedford MP.
Significant improvements to the A428, including a full solution to the Black Cat roundabout issue, announced by the Government as part of its first ever five year investment strategy for the nation’s roads has been welcomed by local MP, Richard Fuller.
The A428 is one of 84 named schemes within the strategy. The proposal is to dual the remaining single carriageway section between Caxton Gibbet west of Cambridge and the M1 at Milton Keynes, making Bedford the centre of an East-West Expressway. The work will also include a flyover junction at the A1 Black Cat roundabout.
Government estimates the total cost of the scheme at between £250m – £500m and construction will start within the plan’s five year period.
Richard Fuller MP for Bedford, commented,
“The creation of this road Expressway linking Bedford with Cambridge and Milton Keynes will bring long term benefits to our local economy and the promise of more local jobs. A flyover at the Black Cat will also make a massive difference to local residents. We must now press ahead for commitments to build the final stage in the complimentary East-West rail link from Bedford to Cambridge.”
More information about the announcement is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-roads-investment-in-the-east-of-england
In June, Secretary of State for Local Government, Eric Pickles, visited Bedford to meet local MP, Richard Fuller and Conservative Mayoral Candidate, Jas Parmar.
Richard described the visit in his column in the Times and Citizen:
“Mr Pickles is a big man so I felt bad giving him a walking tour around town on a hot day in Bedford last week. It was for a good cause, though. Trying to knock some sense in to the use of the mobile CCTV vans so beloved by our Liberal Democrat-controlled Council.
“I am all in favour of the vans being used as they were first intended to be used: to stop cars being parked dangerously outside schools. In some cases, this rush to pick up children causes mayhem and can be dangerous.
“Unfortunately, though, the CCTV vans have been increasingly used as a means to raise money for the Council, with people being given tickets for the most minor and least dangerous infractions.
“On his walkabout, Eric met with shop keepers and local business people and listened to their concerns about the impact of these vans on their customers and on their business.
“Eric listened and now he has acted. Just a few days after his first-hand experience in Bedford, Eric had had enough and he announced an end to overzealous enforcement by CCTV vans. From this Autumn they will be restricted to enforcing parking rules on bus lanes and outside schools.
“It’s great to see this national politician listening and then acting to promote common sense.”