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Westminster Diary by Harriett Baldwin MP


20th April 2018

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that employment across Worcestershire remains at a record high levels and one of my main areas of focus remains pressing for infrastructure improvements to help companies to thrive and grow. Anyone who has driven across the county in recent weeks will have seen the Worcestershire County Council’s highways team busy filling in potholes that have appeared during the sudden winter cold snap. Potholes are an unavoidable and inevitable consequence of cold, wet weather so it is great to see the Government has given the county council £1.6 million to fix the urgent damage. It’s easy to report potholes online and you can tweet @worcshighways too to make sure they are aware of urgent road damage.

There are some major highways projects currently underway around the county and shortly the Highways England improvements to the Sixways roundabout will mean yet more cones and, I’m afraid, the risk of peak time delays. I’ve asked Highways England to make sure that they plan properly to monitor the impact of these major works and keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible but we need to be patient – as I always say, roadworks are a pain but the improvements are usually worth the inconvenience.

The railway network has also been causing concern in recent weeks and the increasing level of delays and cancellations to Cotswold Line trains to and from London meant that I met with the Great Western Railways managing director together with my colleagues Robin Walker and Nigel Huddleston to hear his explanation about the problems faced by local commuters. I’m glad that he offered a full apology to his unhappy customers but it is now important that GWR fixes the problem and makes sure that the right drivers and the right trains are available to ensure reliable services every day of the year. Good road and train connections are vital for business and I will keep campaigning to make sure the right investment is there for county infrastructure.



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