Luke Pollard

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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Luke calls for the M5 to reach the Tamar Bridge

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Luke will launch a campaign for the M5 to be extended to the Tamar Bridge if elected on 8 June as part of a transformation of Plymouth's transport links.

Luke Pollard, Labour and Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:

“I have a vision for Plymouth with upgraded transport, shorter journey times and greater resilience. It is a disgrace that the M5 stops at Exeter. Bringing the M5 to Plymouth will be a challenge but I’m not interested in reasons why it can’t be done, I’m interested in campaigning on how it can be done.

“The south west has been ignored by Government for far too long. I have lost count of the number of broken promises and meaningless press releases by the Conservatives promising road and rail upgrades, but nothing has happened. Our transport links are not fit for purpose and it’s time we had an MP that is brave enough to admit it and stand up for Plymouth in Parliament.

Better connectivity means higher productivity. If we can close the transport funding gap, we can close the productivity gap and bring even better job opportunities to Plymouth.

On trains, the Tories have made little progress since Cameron’s bluster in the wake of Dawlish going down. We are three years further into the 21st century and as far from a secure future for rail as we've ever been. The Tories seem content to extend our second-rate connectivity well into the next decade and beyond. Because Plymouth is my home I won’t accept transport connections that aren’t fit for purpose. That’s why I have written a clear transport vision for Plymouth that I will campaign on if elected on 8 June.”

 

The lack of vision from the region’s MPs has allowed the Government to get away with under-funding us. Since 2010, the far south west has been represented by an army of Tory MPs. Luke’s campaign will seek to put pressure on the region’s Tory MPs to pressure whichever Government is elected on 8 June to fund the south west properly. Transport funding in the south west is currently only 1/7th per person of what London receives. 

 

Luke’s Transport Manifesto

 

In a post-Brexit world, Plymouth will need to have better and faster transport links to realise the opportunities leaving the EU offers. If we continue to suffer from poor transport links, we risk losing jobs and missing the chance to protect and grow our economy. Since the Tories took power in 2010, a great deal has been promised about Plymouth’s transport links but very little has been delivered. If elected on 8 June Luke will launch a campaign for a transport revolution to upgrade our transport links.

Better connectivity means higher productivity. If we can close the transport funding gap, we can close the productivity gap and bring even better job opportunities to Plymouth.

The mantra for the campaign will be: “Don’t tell me why it can’t be done, show me how it can be done.” Plymouth’s MPs have settled for a poor deal for transport for too long. It’s time we had a determined local campaigner with a plan to upgrade our transport. 

M5 Extension to the Tamar Bridge

  • The A38 is no longer fit for purpose. It is blighted by accidents and delays and needs a major upgrade. 
  • Luke will launch a campaign to bring the M5 to the Tamar Bridge. This will involve pressuring the DfT to study how the M5 extension could be built and in what timescale. 
  • Luke will work with the local LEP, councils, business groups and road users to build the case for the M5 extension.

A new train line 

  • Luke will energise the campaign for a new fast and resilient train line. 
  • The new train line should be included in the next Network Rail control period - which is the period in which is spends its multi-billion pound infrastructure fund. 
  • Luke will also continue the campaign started by Plymouth’s Labour Council in 2015 for a new train station. A new train station needs to be matched with signalling upgrades and new trains to upgrade our rail connections.
  • Luke will also back the extension of the Devon Metro services including a new train line to Tavistock and Okehampton complementing a beefed up new mainline.

Re-open Plymouth Airport

  • Luke will oppose plans by Sutton Harbour Holdings to build on the runway at Plymouth City Airport.
  • Luke is a long-term supporter of re-opening the airport and will back efforts by business to do so.
  • The Government has failed to show its support for a re-opened airport. Having spent five years working in aviation for the holiday trade body ABTA, Luke knows how vital air links are and how to support campaigns to re-open vital airports.

Cruise Liner Terminal at Millbay

  • Luke will back efforts to build a new cruise liner terminal at Millbay.
  • Plymouth needs an upgrade of our cross-channel ferry facilities to protect our continental sea links in an increasingly competitive market against Portsmouth and Southampton.
  • The new Millbay terminal should also include new secure border and immigration facilities.

 

Where’s the money come from?

The south west gets only 1/7th of the funding per head for transport that people in London get. That isn’t right and our Tory MPs for the far south west have been too complacent about this for too long. It’s time for a grand vision for transport that we can all work towards.

If there is enough money for High Speed 2 and Crossrail there is enough money to make sure our train line is resilient. 

If there’s enough money for new trains in London, there’s enough money for new trains in the south west. 

If there’s enough money and political will for a new airport in London, there’s enough to help us re-open our’s in Plymouth. 

If there’s enough money for new cruise docks in Liverpool, there’s enough to help us build one in Plymouth. 

I am not asking for more money than anywhere else, I’m just asking for our fair share of funding.

If Labour wins the election it is our policy to introduce regional investment banks to upgrade regional economies. Investing in infrastructure will be key to developing the wider south west economy and I will campaign to see the banks investing in our upgraded transport infrastructure. 

Reactions

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commented 2017-05-21 18:34:58 +0100
Hello,
There really is nothing wrong with the A38 from Exeter, it’s a perfectly good road that gets a bad rap from poor and fast drivers. You stand within a few miles of the M5 say in Somerset, it’s a really loud road. The noise is made worse as the motorway passes through valleys, just imagine what it will be like when your stood on Dartmoor and all you can hear is the continuous drone of a busy road. Widening the A38 just to make it a motorway is going to badly affect the environment, many sections will need straightening, this just isn’t the answer, it’s a very selfish proposal to gain a popular vote on something that doesn’t need doing. People are now tending to get jobs closer to home, yes the roads are more busy but the stresses of work are far worse, people just want to travel a few miles to work. I suggest putting more energy and campaigning on improving the rail infrastructure, introducing an electric rail tram network in Plymouth, better serviced footpaths and cycle routes to connect communities.

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