Ben Howlett, MP for Bath, spoke in Parliament about the need for improvements to Bath’s transport network and infrastructure.
During the debate he highlighted three key issues, the need for an A36-46 link road as part of Bath’s Integrated Transport Plan, the importance of modernising the bus network and the desperate need for a substantially better broadband provision.
On the topic of the long-awaited link road, Ben said, ‘thirty years is long enough to wait to get on with a critical transport project. For vehicles to bypass Bath and still reach their destination, it is crucial to get on and build this critical link road.’ Ben has recently launched a petition to the Government calling for the link road which is being delivered to Bath this summer.
Turning to buses Ben said, ‘To encourage more people in Bath and the West of England to use buses, an integrated strategy is needed, especially across rural areas. If we integrate services, economies of scale can be produced to help pass on savings to travellers, just as they were when they were introduced in London.
I have met numerous passenger focus groups in Bath which are all concerned with the future viability of services. The new buses Bill and the potential devolved solution in the West of England will ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the project.’
On the subject of broadband, Ben commented, ‘Like most Members across the House, I am inundated with complaints about the problems of accessing high-speed broadband. Even in cities such as Bath and Bristol, which have the fastest-growing tech economy in the UK, people struggle to access high-speed broadband, and productivity is thus thwarted. In 2016, that should not be the case.
Together with colleagues across the House, I welcome the digital economy Bill, with a commitment to the broadband universal service obligation. This improvement to broadband is essential for maintaining and growing a strong economy and I look forward to supporting the Government in passing this legislation.’
In his closing remarks. Brandon Lewis, the Housing Minister, said, ‘I have worked closely with my Hon. Friend the Member for Bath to ensure that new and affordable homes are built in areas such as his, and that people have the chance to buy a home of their own.’