East Devon MP calls for transport boost
The new member of parliament for East Devon has used his maiden speech in the House of Commons to appeal for better transport links in Devon.
A week on from the collapse of Flybe, Simon Jupp has told MPs that "now is the time to invest in the south west." He's been to visit Exeter Airport, where he "saw many brave faces" in a situation he describes as "devastating." Last week, Mr Jupp claimed the government had done everything possible to save Flybe from going under, but its shareholders had walked away.
Air connectivity is just one of Devon's travel traumas, leading the newly elected MP to remind his colleagues about rail problems too. "Never again can our main line connecting Devon to the rest of the country be washed away. We must, to coin a phrase, get Dawlish done."
Mr Jupp also called for the planned re-routing of the A303 around Stonehenge to get underway, and took a side-swipe at the government's perceived obsession with the Northern Powerhouse, which is all the greater following the switch of many northern Labour seats to the Conservatives. Some believe that the south west, which is a sea of blue with two tiny red dots in Exeter and Plymouth, can be ignored by the government. Mr Jupp used his maiden speech to suggest that that's not the case. "I know the prime minister and his cabinet fully understand the opportunities and challenges facing Devon,"