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Infrastructure Bill [Lords]

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 6:41 pm on 8th December 2014.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw 6:41 pm, 8th December 2014

This Infrastructure Bill is perhaps best described as infrastructure bits and pieces; it contains little on the infrastructure of the country and what we need for the next 50 or 100 years. It contains nothing on broadband and airports—nothing even on gas access, despite the fact that the very villages that do not have access to gas are the ones nearest the potential shale gas sites. The Bill contains nothing on cycleways. I am not a cyclist, but it is palpable that over the next couple of decades we are going to need bespoke cycleways separate from roads such as the A60, which goes through Bassetlaw, to allow people to cycle. The planning process needs to be skewed to incentivise that and make it happen sooner rather than later.

The Bill contains nothing on green energy, for which there are not only environmental arguments but a fundamental economic argument: we will lose a competitive advantage if other countries have large amounts of green energy and we have little, both in terms of our national accounts and our industry.