The Tory Transport Secretary Chris Grayling visited Labour run Nottingham this week and praised the cities infrastructure as the example to follow for integrated transport. He commented on how Nottingham was ahead of other areas of the country, seeing how decades of Labour investment has created for Nottingham the kind of transport system that we want to see around the country.
Nottingham has been a Labour Council that’s known that investment in infrastructure is the right thing to do. It is good to see that the Conservatives and Government has finally caught up with the work Nottingham Labour has been doing for decades. In Nottingham, there is an effective and efficient integrated transport system for the city. The introduction of the Robin Hood payment scheme has allowed for cross-operator and cross-transport payments within Nottingham. This is complimented by more integrated service lines with Nottingham Train Station acting as a transport hub for trains, trams, bikes and, buses. There have also been improvements for cyclists around Nottingham with the introduction of specific cycle routes, better access to the city centre and the implementation of a city-wide bike hiring scheme.
The government’s policy to scrap the electrification of the Midlands Mainline is limiting what more we can do however. This increase in speed and the beneficial environmental impacts are vital for Nottingham’s future transport needs. The governments proposed bi-powered trains simply do not provide the same benefits as rail electrification, are far more expensive, and have rightly been criticised by the Council and Nottingham’s Labour MPs.
There are also been an unfair distribution of transport spending from the Government that is holding back Nottingham’s potential with London too often being prioritised over the East Midlands. London currently receives £2,592.68 per head for transport compared to the East Midlands which only receives £218.94 per head. The fact the Government chose to give a £30 billion cheque to London and the South East for Crossrail 2 instead of £700 million for Nottingham and the electrification of the Midlands Mainline is another example of how the Government has wrongly prioritised its transport spending.
If there is more money coming for Transport, Nottingham needs its fair share to continue the success we have had in building an exemplar transport system.