Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart criticised the ‘failing’ Department of Transport in a House of Commons debate this week and called for a more strategic approach to rail services and reinstatement of the original timetable to deliver a rail link to Heathrow from the west, during a debate in Parliament.
Fiona claimed the “…Department is failing and letting down the Thames valley and the whole of the south-eastern economy.” She slammed “tunnel-vision civil servants” for their inability to juggle several projects and reminded members of unacceptable overcrowding on commuter services saying, “We have standards for carrying animals on lorries, but we do not have standards for carrying humans on trains.”
The Minister, Conservative MP Claire Perry, called Fiona a “…passionate campaigner for rail” and said “The hon. Lady was right to raise the Heathrow issue, and it will be delivered, but it is a question of appropriate sequencing.”
Fiona later commented, “The government is failing to implement this promised rail project on time, as a result Britain will fail to attract inward investment, it’s harming our country’s prosperity. The UK is stalling on Western Rail Access to Heathrow which is so desperately needed. Building this short link will repay investment more quickly than any other rail project, but the transport department have failed to make it a priority.
“We really need the Government to focus on rail services with a strategic vision, which is vital to our prosperity instead of focussing on one issue at a time.”
The debate can be read here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160208/debtext/160208-0002.htm#16020817000001