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Confidence in the Secretary of State for Transport

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:52 pm on 19th June 2018.

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Photo of Steve Double Steve Double Conservative, St Austell and Newquay 2:52 pm, 19th June 2018

I am not aware of the issue that the hon. Lady raises. It has never been raised with me by constituents—[Interruption.] I am happy to take it on board and look at it, but that is a new one; it has never been raised by any of my constituents.

In my constituency, the Secretary of State has committed to fund a new link road from St Austell to the A30. That is something that the people of St Austell have been waiting nearly 30 years to see delivered. Under Labour, we had no progress whatsoever on that, but it is now happening under this Secretary of State. We are also seeing progress on the A303, which is being dualled through Wiltshire. That is absolutely vital to the tourism industry in the south-west, and we are seeing real progress on it.

On our railways, we are about to see brand-new rolling stock being rolled out on the Great Western Railway into Cornwall to replace the 40-year-old trains that we currently have to put up with. The new state-of-the-art rolling stock will have far more seats for passengers and a much better driver experience. We have also seen the upgrading of our signalling on the railways through Cornwall. That will increase capacity and the frequency of the trains. Again, that is the result of more investment that this Government are delivering for transport into Cornwall.

We are also seeing progress on resilience in south Devon. I am sure that all Members will remember the damage that was caused by the weather at Dawlish and Teignmouth in 2014. That situation arose because of the lack of investment over many years, but this Government are investing and building resilience into the rail network throughout Devon. That is something that we desperately need. On aviation, this Government are supporting regional aviation and they have supported my local airport at Newquay with a link to London. They are also backing our bid for further connections into Heathrow in the near future.

So, from a local point of view in Cornwall, this Secretary of State is doing a very good job. He is delivering for the people of Cornwall like no one has ever done before. We need to understand that the current challenges that have provoked this debate have come about as a result of a combination of many complex issues, and to play political games and use this as an opportunity for political opportunism is not what we need right now. We need to resolve the issues, and changing the Secretary of State at this point is not going to help. We need someone in position who can bring us the answers that we need in order to address those issues, so I am happy to say that I will not be supporting the motion today and that the Secretary of State has my full confidence.