Huw Merriman: Road and rail transport issues are high on my list of priorities

In the House with Huw Merriman SUS-151007-132058001
In the House with Huw Merriman SUS-151007-132058001
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In order to bring increased prosperity to our community it is vital that we get decent quality road and rail links.

Last week, I met with Highways England to talk about the A21.

Huw Merriman at London Bridge SUS-150723-085447001

Huw Merriman at London Bridge SUS-150723-085447001

There are some good measures in the pipeline to improve safety at Hurst Green and along the whole length of the road from Lamberhurst to Hastings, but the big change will be the opening of the new dual-carriageway between Pembury and Tonbridge in 2016.

This will ease congestion and reduce journey times and accidents at this bottleneck and on the back of this I will be campaigning to dual-carriage the rest of the A21 all the way down to Hastings.

Although this may not reach fruition whilst I am your MP, I will make this one of my top priorities.

On rail, I was pleased to visit the vast engineering project to redevelop London Bridge station. Work is coming on since I visited 4 months ago.

I was able to stand on the new Platform 9 which is where our trains from the Hastings line will run through to Charing Cross from January 2016 and stop in August 2016.

This work, creating a concourse below the platforms the size of the pitch area at Wembley, will make for a better experience for our rail users.

However, the game-changer for rail to London is high speed rail from Bexhill to London St Pancras in 78 minutes. I have written to the Rail Minister to ask for a progress report and my position on the Transport Select Committee will help me on my mission to deliver high speed rail to our area.

After my first three months, Parliament is now in recess. I was the last but three MPs to speak in the final debate in the House of Commons chamber and used the opportunity during the Finance Bill to talk about what we need in the constituency by way of more jobs, housing for people to get on the ladder and better infrastructure.

I have used the privilege of being able to speak in the chamber as much as possible to highlight issues of concern brought to me by our residents - on areas as diverse as mental health, transport, schools, the environment and foreign affairs.

I will not be using the summer as a long holiday. After writing this article on my first day of recess, I am heading to Battle for 9am to meet the team planning the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and then visiting a school management team in Bexhill.

The days are planned out across the constituency so I can use my summer to spend longer with constituents. I aim to get more direct experience of your issues so that I can continue to champion you, and this special constituency, when I return to Parliament on 7 September.