Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category
Richard has signed a motion calling for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate allegations of price-fixing by British oil companies. The motion, initiated by Robert Halfon MP and supported by a number of MPs across all parties, is likely to be debated in Parliament in September.
Richard said, “As the Times and Citizen fuel campaign has shown over recent months, our local petrol prices are unjustifiably high. Although the Government has already done a great deal to support the motorist – stopping the 3p August rise, scrapping the January rise, and cutting fuel duty by 1p in 2011 – there is much more that should be done to challenge the oil companies and their part in keeping petrol prices high.
“The OFT has failed to tackle the oil companies and that’s why I am calling for an OFT investigation – a crucial next step in the T&C’s campaign for fairer fuel prices.”
Robert Halfon MP added, “I’m delighted that Richard is campaigning for cheaper petrol and diesel. To be fair to the Government, they have now cut fuel duty by 10p, compared with what Labour were planning. But it’s essential that we also crack down on the oil companies to make sure they pass on cheaper oil process at the pumps. That’s why Richard and I are pressing for a full enquiry by the OFT.”
Richard welcomed the Government’s announcement on rail investment for 2015-19 that places Bedford at the centre of new investment in our railways.
Richard commented, “These plans will upgrade the Midland Mainline, which connects London through Bedford to Sheffield, by electrifying the line from Bedford northwards. The announcment also reconfirmed the Government’s commitment to re-building – and fully electrifying – the railway between Bedford and Oxford as part of the East-West Rail Project. The Department for Transport will also be continuing discussions with local authorities to secure the final piece of the East-West rail line that will connect Bedford to Cambridge and beyond.
“Bedford and Kempston have a proud rail heritage and I am delighted that Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Transport has recognised this in today’s announcement. Although scheduled some time ahead, these investments emphasise Bedford’s centrality for commerce and will provide a long term boost to the potential for local job creation.”
Last Saturday, Richard waved off a train load of people from Bedford railway station, who were treated to a day out in Brighton by First Capital Connect (FCC).
On board was a party of almost 40 from Foxgloves Children’s Home and Sunflower House, as well as other children with disabilities from around Bedford. On-board, the group was entertained by a clown, face painters and a magician and in Brighton, they enjoyed events put on by the Brighton Fringe.
The trip was organised by FCC to celebrate the end of cross-London engineering works on the Thameslink route.
Richard secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons last Wednesday night to discuss the safety of private hire drivers and their passengers.
Richard called for the debate following an incident in Bedford town centre in January in which a Kempston taxi driver was attacked and killed and another in which a taxi driver was assaulted when the passengers would not pay their fare up front.
During the debate, Richard called on the Transport Minister, Norman Baker, to consider using the “Proceeds of Crime Money” to introduce CCTV or screen shields in taxis and for the government to track more formally the statistics on criminal attacks on private hire drivers in order to use the information to make improvements in the sector.
“Private hire and taxi drivers are a vital part of our public transport system, and when it comes to their physical safety and the safety of their property, they deserve to be afforded the same protection as our bus drivers, airline staff and railway employees, but they are not.”
Citing the FoI request by the Bedfordshire on Sunday that showed that there had been 93 recorded assaults on drivers in the preceding twelve months, Richard noted that the local authority had estimated this was 2% of drivers being assaulted each year, stating “very few jobs have such a high rate of unprovoked violence.”
“Legislation on taxi licences dates from 1847 and 1976, so I welcome the Law Commission review and will be talking with them during their consultation.
“I was very pleased that the Minister, Norman Baker, had such a positive response to my calls for more to be done for driver – and passenger – safety. I hope the review of the legislation will suggest some initiatives to make our private hire and taxi sectors a respected part of our transport system, which is a status that both the drivers and the public deserve.”
For Richard’s full speech and the Minister’s response, please visit:
Richard Fuller has welcomed Tuesday’s announcement by the Chancellor that funding for East West Rail will be made available.
In a powerful Autumn Statement, which focused on supporting growth while maintaining the budget discipline that keeps our interest rates low, the Chancellor announced that a new East West Rail link will go ahead.
Restoring the rail link between Bedford and Oxford (via Milton Keynes) is the key first step in the East West rail project, which ultimately aims to add Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich to the line, and is supported by MPs from all along the proposed route. The project forms part of the Government’s investment in infrastructure to boost growth, and will create 12,000 new jobs in the region.
“Future increases in fuel duty should be reconsidered to help family budgets” was the message in Parliament from Richard Fuller this week. A parliamentary debate had been called asking for fairer prices at the pumps, after over 100,000 people had signed an e-petition asking for the topic to be discussed.
Richard said that it was unacceptable to force through further rapid increases in duty when the average family budget is already under pressure. Richard said: “The Coalition government needs to be fairer to motorists than the last government and with 10 percent of family budgets going on petrol, stopping further increases would be a major help.”
Earlier this week, Richard lent his support for investment in the East West Rail link, arguing that it would give a lift to job creation in Bedford and Kempston. The debate was called to urge the government to set aside £250m for the Bedford to Oxford link in the 2014-19 rail plans.
Richard commented: “A regular fast rail service to Oxford, linked with a direct route to Central Milton Keynes, will reinforce Bedford’s position as a natural hub for the rail network, further improving our attractiveness for new businesses and bringing more, local jobs.”
While others talked, I collected over 500 signatures in support of the Borough Council’s petition for Government funding to complete the bypass. Thank you to all of you who signed and joined the effort for this long overdue improvement. I believe that we need to put pressure on this Government to get them to help finish the job otherwise congestion will get even worse across town.