Strategic Transport Infrastructure Projects: Essex

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 16th July 2019.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

If he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss the potential benefits to (a) businesses and (b) the implementation of the industrial strategy of funding strategic transport infrastructure projects in Essex.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Our national productivity investment fund of £37 billion will increase investment in areas important for economic growth, such as transport. The Government are also committed to deliver the Lower Thames crossing with an estimated cost of £5.3 billion. I will happily discuss infrastructure projects in Essex with the Secretary of State for Transport, when I next see him.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

Last week, I chaired key investment meetings with businesses in Essex for the Great Eastern Mainline Taskforce and on the dualling of the A120. Those two projects alone would contribute £5 billion to the regional and national economy. Will the Minister and the Secretary of State encourage the entire Department to work with us to get behind this and get to the Treasury in particular to get the investment that is needed to get those schemes moving?

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s tireless championing of the case for improved road and rail in Essex, and I am happy to lend my support to her campaign. The county has a vibrant, enterprising economy, but greater investment in connectivity would deliver more jobs, housing and opportunities right across the region.