Regional Transport Infrastructure — [Joan Ryan in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central 2:30 pm, 5th March 2019

I extend an invitation to him. There is an important debate to be had about Yorkshire devolution, and I was pleased to meet not only the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government but the Government Chief Whip at Fountains Abbey on Friday to discuss it. I think we agree that there is an absolute requirement to move as quickly as possible to put in place a system of devolution that will best serve our great county. We may not be able to agree on precisely what that is today, but it is important that we reach agreement in the near future.

When thinking about regional transport infrastructure, we should be guided by the simple principle that we should connect our people to the places that they want to go for work, to access public services and for leisure, creating opportunities where we can and connecting people to them. That is how we give people a stake in their communities and in our country.

As we prepare for the future and life beyond the Brexit debate, all our regions and nations must be given the very best opportunity to contribute to our national prosperity. If we do not invest in regional transport infrastructure, we will not give the people we serve the tools they need to thrive, nor will we answer the concerns that motivated people to vote leave in the referendum. However, we can only do that if the Government support us. There are real opportunities before the Minister to help us to do that. I hope he takes them up.