Our transport connections have got to be improved

COMMENT: All agencies must to held to account for Anne Savidge’s tragic death

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Implementing an effective transport infrastructure is central to this government’s long-term economic plan. On HS2, Crossrail and a whole host of other projects, the government is investing in infrastructure and supporting growth.

Yet every day the people travelling south of the capital are stuck with some of the slowest and most overcrowded trains in the country.

This is why I recently called for a Parliamentary debate on the insufficient transport network in the south of England.

The South West trains that arrive into Waterloo from Portsmouth every morning include the second-busiest train in the UK. And these are never quick journeys – it takes longer to get from London to Portsmouth than it does to get to Doncaster – a distance more than twice as far.

As the largest UK town without a railway, Gosport residents have to cross the harbour by ferry to Portsmouth or drive to Fareham along the dreaded A32 to reach the nearest station.

A modern transport infrastructure is crucial if the south is to recover from structural changes.

Following BAE’s decision to end shipbuilding in Portsmouth, the government has announced a welcome £900m City Deal for Portsmouth and Southampton.

But we need to improve connections to the capital and links between towns and cities in the south.